While the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, and Rodri have been hailed for their excellent personal campaigns, Aymeric Laporte has been one of the underrated success stories of Manchester City’s 2021/22 season.
The Spanish international reclaimed his spot in City’s back four after being out-of-favor for a majority of the last term - becoming Ruben Dias’ go-to centre-back partner.
He started a staggering 33 out of 38 games, as Pep Guardiola’s side went on to retain the Premier League title.
While the elegant defender’s pedigree is unquestionable, the fact that the 27-year-old powered through injury and fitness issues to always be available highlights just how much of an unsung hero he has been.
As a result, it comes as no surprise that Laporte has had to withdraw from Spain’s upcoming Nations League fixtures due to suffering a knee injury, with the four-time Premier League champion confirming his absence in a statement via social media.
In full, Laporte said: “Hello everyone. As you may have read, unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the National team next games, because of the injury I picked up against Wolves that will need further treatment.
"I have been uncomfortable with my knee since then, but I wanted to help the team to the end and I am glad I did so.
Laporte continued, "Now that the season is over, I will follow the medical process and start rehab to get back to full fitness quickly.
"We have another very exciting season ahead of us with big goals to achieve. Thanks for the messages and support, see you on the pitch, Ayme.”
While Laporte’s instrumental presence will be missed sorely by the Spanish side, City will be hoping one of their most key players recovers after what was one of the most gruelling seasons of his career.
However, from a City perspective, Laporte's bravery has been hugely admirable. Despite injuring his knee against Wolves, the defender has continued to play 180 intense minutes in two crucial Premer League games.
His persistence has paid off, and a fourth Premier League winners medal was well and truly deserved.