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“Everything would have been different” – Player hints at Pep Guardiola difficulties before Manchester City exit



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Former Manchester City defender and current Spain international Aymeric Laporte has discussed the reasons behind his eventual exit from the Etihad Stadium last summer.

The centre-back brought an end to a five-and-a-half year stay at Manchester City by making a switch to the Saudi Pro League during the most recent summer transfer window, weeks after the Premier League champions recruited Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig.

Aymeric Laporte signed a deal with Al Nassr, becoming a teammate of Cristiano Ronaldo in a £23.6 million pound deal – making him the most expensive defender to play in the Saudi Pro League to date.

But reflecting on his time at Manchester City – that also featured numerous Premier League titles and the club’s first ever UEFA Champions League success amongst many other prices, Laporte took issue with himself and his fitness record that contributed to a downfall.

Speaking to Spanish newspaper AS this week, as translated and relayed by Sport Witness, Aymeric Laporte has discussed the issues that ultimately led to Manchester City signing other players in his position during the course of his Etihad career.

“I think it’s (his move) as a result of the injuries I suffered when the club started signing other centre-backs,” Laporte opened. “When you make those hires, which were for a lot of money, you cannot save a place for a player who has given you a lot of physical problems or injuries.”

Laporte continued, before going on to heap praise on Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola, “The club saw it this way and preferred to bet on others. Obviously, if I hadn’t had these physical problems, everything would have been different.

“For me, Guardiola is the best tactical coach in the world, without a doubt. Now I see it even more from the outside, you realise. Tactically he is the best.”

However, when asked if Pep Guardiola had ‘personally helped’ his development at Manchester City or whether Laporte himself expected more from the Catalan coach, the Spanish international held back.

“I’m going to leave it without comment,” he stated bluntly.

Since leaving Manchester City and English football, Aymeric Laporte has registered a total of 21 appearances for Al Nassr, scoring two goals in the process and providing an assist in Saudi Pro League competition.