first_img1 Aymeric Laporte in action for Bilbao against Barcelona Football statistics experts give you the lowdown on a French star playing in Spain who’s linked with a move to Manchester City. For more City stats, check out One Cup success for Manchester City on Sunday provided manager Manuel Pellegrini with at least one piece of silverware in his final season at the Etihad Stadium.If it is the last trophy his side wins before he departs for pastures new, then it will see his time at the club come full circle with the Capital One Cup winners’ medal the Chilean’s first in his debut campaign at the City helm.With the Citizens now gearing up for life under Pep Guardiola, movements are supposedly being made behind the scenes to bolster the squad to the Spaniard’s specifications.One of those linked with a move to the club is highly rated Athletic Club centre-back Aymeric Laporte.Guardiola is believed to be a big fan of the French defender, with his impressive performances garnering interest across the continent.A rating of 6.92 leaves room for improvement, but his performances in the Europa League (7.43) have helped accentuate his ability. At 21 years of age, Laporte has plenty of time to develop his game further, with Guardiola perhaps the ideal manager to help the youngster realise his potential.The soon-to-be-former Bayern boss is credited with helping previous diamond in the rough Jerome Boateng establish himself as one of the better defenders on the continent.Laporte’s performances during his time in the Athletic senior squad suggest he has the ability to become one of the best centre-back’s in Europe, particularly under Guardiola’s guidance.City are a team who favour playing the ball out from the back, with only a handful of teams averaging more possession (55.1%) in the Premier League this season.Furthermore, only Arsenal (541.5) are playing more passes per game than the Citizens (535.2). This possession-based approach will suit a defender of Laporte’s quality, with the player averaging a respectable 47.7 passes per game, highlighting his statistically calculated strength of ‘passing’.When taking into account the lacklustre performances and lack of composure of City’s current crop of centre-backs – Vincent Kompany aside – the need for investment at the back is clear.Granted, the rash side of Laporte’s game has reared its head at times this season. No player has conceded more penalties than the youngster (3), while seven yellow cards is a relatively high return for the centre-back.The pros, though, outweigh the cons. Only three players have made interceptions than Laporte (177) in La Liga since the start of last season.Given his age, his reading of the game is way beyond what his tender years suggest should be the case, with the France hopeful more than capable of playing the ball out from the back to instigate attacks from defence.Given the nimble offensive players in the City squad – Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne to name three – Laporte’s ability to not only limit opposition attacks but pick out those further forward would come as a bonus to City and Guardiola.If reports are to be believed, City will have to splash the cash in order to convince Athletic to sell Laporte.While they would likely be able to negotiate the price with the Basque side, the Citizens would perhaps be best-suited investing in the defence sooner rather than later given the questionable performances of Eliaquim Mangala and Martin Demichelis in particular.Indeed, Laporte boasts the ability to provide the ideal foundations for Guardiola to build his side upon.For more stats on Aymeric Laporte, click here to view his player pagelast_img

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