Ever since Vincent Kompany left the club in 2019, Manchester City have struggled defensively. Their former captain was the glue keeping their back four together. Over the last couple of years, Pep Guardiola has tried to find the right partnership at the back to resolve the problems, but up until this season he has not had the right personnel to get it right.
It now looks like City’s issues are behind them as the signing of Ruben Dias from Benfica is proving to be smart business, despite the club having to splash a club record of just over £60 million to secure the services of the Portuguese international.
Dias has a wealth of experience even though he is only 23-years-old. He played 137 games for Benfica before his switch to the Premier League and is an integral player for Portugal, who won the UEFA Nations League in 2019.
City fans can be excited about the future with Dias slotting in alongside the reliable Aymeric Laporte. The pair have all the right attributes needed to help their team concede far less goals and give some consistency, as long as they remain fit and healthy.
The City boss hailed the duo following City’s 1-0 victory over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. It is clear that Guardiola sees Dias and Laporte as his best partnership so he will be keen for them to play as much as possible this season.
In the opening six games Dias has been part of the starting XI, City have conceded just three goals. The Manchester club have recorded three clean sheets across this series of matches, something which was very rare in the 2019/20 campaign.
If City continue to have such a solid record at the back, they are going to have a great chance of success this season. At the time of writing, Guardiola’s side were the +137 favorites in the Premier League betting for the title. Those odds reflect how City are better equipped for the latest campaign.
Dias Will Prove Vital in Europe Too
The signing of Dias has also been made to try and help City win the Champions League. This is the trophy the club have been desperate to lift over the last decade and the reason why Guardiola was employed to be their head coach.
City have just fallen short over the last few years in the competition, bowing out in the quarter-finals in each of the past three seasons, including last year when Lyon eliminated them after losing 3-1 in a one-off game at a neutral venue.
Guardiola’s men are at the front end of the betting for the Champions League this season along with the holders Bayern Munich and Liverpool. They should have no problems reaching the knockout stages once again and then the big tests will come against the elite clubs in the tournament.
If City do go on to collect silverware this season, Dias could end up being one of the best signings the club has ever made.