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Guardiola has challenged Aymeric Laporte to rediscover his best form

Tue 19 January 2021 | 18:08

Aymeric Laporte has been a secured starter for most of his time at the Etihad Stadium but has struggled for match action so far this season

Aymeric Laporte

joined Manchester City in 2018 and has played in 97 games since then, but has moved away from good form this season and has only played in four games. Guardiola has made more use of  Ruben Dias and John Stones in defense this season, but hopes Laporte will return to good form.

It depends on him, the quality is there,

” Guardiola said on his potential return to the first XI.

“[He has to] be in top form and have his mind open. He’s the best left-sided defender [we have], he has special quality with the ball.

“He has to be focused to come back in the best condition possible and he will get his minutes. After, it depends on his performance like it depends on the form of everyone.”

Man City face Aston Villa on Wednesday and climb to the top of the table with a win in this game. Laporte will not play in this game due to a hamstring injury. However, he could return for Saturday’s clash against Cheltenham in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

It would be good news – we need him, [like] we need [Nathan] Ake, Eric [Garcia]

,” Guardiola said.

“We have been really good [in defence] except in the game against Leicester [a 5-2 loss] at the start of the season.

“Many things help [you] to be champions but if one or two of these drop a little bit then it’s difficult to do it. You need to be good in set pieces, up front, defensively, in the transitions: many aspects are needed, private life of the players, the physical form, being in a good mood.

“The only concern is Villa. We don’t know which players will be available tomorrow. We’ll see in the line-up. But the quality they’ve shown this season compared to last season is incredible.

“More than the good results is the performances. It’s only a concern but if you are able to win five in a row, then you can lose three in a row. The next one is the most important and that is Aston Villa.”

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