Aymeric Laporte says he is ready to fight for his place to be an ever present in Manchester City’s defensive line this season, claiming it will be a tough challenge to be a regular starter at the Etihad.
Following the departure of captain Vincent Kompany, Laporte’s consistent partner in defence during the vital Premier League title run-in last season, Pep Guardiola has one less senior central defender to pick from.
While Kompany’s departure to Anderlecht leaves just Laporte, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi as established centre backs, these three all have the attributes to be Pep’s go-to guy at the back.
As quoted by the Manchester Evening News, Laporte said: “Hopefully it can be the same this year, I’m here to start. I’m going to work for that.”
He added: “I don’t know if they need to sign someone else, ask Pep what he wants. I think the three of us are putting ourselves forward to play every game, but we don’t decide. The club decides for us.”
Laporte also spoke on the option of playing defensive midfielder Fernandinho at the back, suggesting it wouldn't be a problem for the Brazilian adapt to a new role.
He stated: “Yes it’s possible. Fernandinho is a very good player. I think he can play wherever he wants so, yes, he can play centre back too.”
Laporte had a successful first full season with Manchester City and was included in the 2018/19 PFA Team of the Year, alongside City teammates Ederson, Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero.
He appeared 49 times in an incredible domestic treble winning campaign, which included crucial moments from the Frenchman such as his goal at Brighton to keep the Premier League trophy in Manchester.