Manchester City spent big on yet another young defender, and here's how he stacks up against some of his counterparts as he enters the Premier League.
The newest signing at Manchester City is young French defender Aymeric Laporte, brought in for a record-fee of £57 million. The 23-year-old started and played the full 90 minutes against West Brom in his first game available, helping to keep a clean sheet along the way.
The heavy price tag for the center-half means high expectations are in store for him under Pep Guardiola, but his play this past season in La Liga proves he can hold his own against the other best young defenders in the Premier League.
Out of the other big-six clubs, three different young center-halves have registered over 1,000 minutes played in the Premier League, with Davinson Sánchez doing so for Spurs, Andreas Christensen for Chelsea, and Joe Gomez for Liverpool.
Laporte's numbers from his La Liga campaign this year have been on par with his new counterparts, suggesting he'll also be able to hold his own in the Premier League. His completed passes per match rose already in his first game in Pep's system, jumping from 41 on average at Athletic Bilbao to 72 completed against West Brom.
Sánchez, Christensen, Gomez, and Laporte all lead statistical categories when compared head-to-head, making it difficult to separate one from the others. Laporte has registered the most minutes so far, yet Christensen has proven himself to be the most effective passer.
Additionally, Gomez's defensive stat line is better than the others, with more tackles and interceptions per match, but Sánchez is the biggest threat with balls in the air.
|Aerial duels won||2.32||2.8||1.6||1.9|
*all stats are per match
Laporte's stats are sure to change, as evidenced in his first game with City. His passes per match rose as mentioned above, along with his passing accuracy, completing 95% of his attempts. Laporte's arrival also brings about the question as to who will be going to the bench, with Pep likely sticking to his 4-3-3.
Nicolas Otámendi, John Stones, and Aymeric Laporte are all expected to be fighting for the two central defense spots, and Otámendi's great form this season will likely see him remain in the first XI.
Laporte out-ranks Stones in most defensive categories, and his price tag suggests he wasn't brought in to be a rotational player. His presence undoubtedly adds defensive depth to City's squad, and if his level of play can remain as it was in Spain and in his Premier League debut, the young Frenchman should expect plenty of minutes coming his way in the near future.