Manchester City’s defense has been an issue for a long time and manager Pep Guardiola never seemed to find the right way to make it work, especially after the departure of captain Vincent Kompany. But now it seems Guardiola has found his new commander in Portuguese center-back Ruben Dias.
When Manchester City paid 70 million euros for Benfica center-back Ruben Dias, the general perception from the public is that this was yet another fruitless investment by Pep Guardiola as he has a tendency to spend a lot of money in his defense without getting much improvement.
A couple of months after his signing, this has proven not to be the case. Ruben Dias has re-energized and organized City’s defense, adding a bit of steel and leadership to a back-four that was really in need of it. His physical domination and strength was shown in Manchester City’s emphatic 2-0 victory over Manchester United at the Carabao Cup this week. The key about Ruben Dias being so important is that he has added a level of calmness and strength, mostly due to the fact that he is an old-school defender. Sure, he can pass from the back like the best of them, but he has no qualms about tackling and getting dirty if it’s necessary. Manchester City didn’t have a profile like that since Vincent Kompany left.
This, along with Pep Guardiola now playing with a double pivot, has helped Manchester City to be a much more stable side from a defensive perspective and while they are not as exciting as they once were, they are now a much more reliable side and that is something that can be quite helpful this season. Of course, it’s too early in the season to determine Ruben Dias’ signing as an absolute success, but the signs are extremely encouraging and he is now poised to have a monumental role in Guardiola’s side in the coming years if he lives up to his potential.
Perhaps Manchester City has found the commander they needed in their defense.