Manchester City dealt minor fitness blow as Aymeric Laporte return date revealed
Manchester City are not expected to have Aymeric Laporte return to action until the end of September at the very least, according to a new report.
The Spain international has missed pre-season and the beginning of City’s title defence having recently undergone surgery on his knee after helping Pep Guardiola‘s side retain the Premier League title last term.
City have made a strong start to the season with three league wins in four ahead of a visit from newly-promoted Nottingham Forest on Wednesday evening.
Guardiola’s men started the season with their centre-back quartet from their most recent league winning campaign – boasting Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Nathan Ake.
Ake was linked with a potential switch to Chelsea earlier in the transfer window but is believed to have opted to stay put and challenge for more minutes after an encouraging 2021/22 campaign at the Etihad Stadium.
Laporte was arguably City’s most reliable central defender last season, scoring a number of vital goals as City retained the Premier League title for the second time under Pep Guardiola.
The 28-year-old made 44 appearances across all competitions for Manchester City last season, scoring four times in 33 league outings.
After being open to leaving City last summer, Laporte won his place back in Guardiola’s preferred starting XI and enjoyed perhaps his best campaign in Manchester since joining from Athletic Bilbao in January 2018.
The Agen-born defender played through a knee injury to help the Blues over the line in their Premier League run-in last term and has since spent significant time on the treatment table.
With John Stones also missing the early part of the new season, Guardiola has looked worryingly short of cover at the heart of defence as Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake were his only available options at centre-back.
Stones has since fully recovered whilst Ake has joined Laporte on the sidelines as Manchester City approach a jam-packed schedule of games as they also await the beginning of this season’s Champions League group-stage.
However, it will not be until late September or early into the month of October that Aymeric Laporte will be back in action for the Premier League champions, as reported by The Athletic.
City signed Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez, Stefan Ortega, Kalvin Phillips and Sergio Gomez this summer amidst a major squad revamp that saw Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko leave permanently.
After Pep Guardiola refused to outrightly rule out a final move in the current window whilst previewing City’s midweek clash with Nottingham Forest, the Blues are expected to secure the signing of Borussia Dortmund centre-half Manuel Akanji before the transfer deadline on Thursday.
Sources in England expect Akanji to undergo his Manchester City medical on Wednesday ahead of an official announcement that will see the Switzerland international join up with former Dortmund teammate Erling Haaland at the Etihad Stadium.
With neither of Ake or Laporte expected to be available in the near future, City have decided to act late and bolster their backline as they look to compete on all fronts again under Guardiola.