Aymeric Laporte believes his defensive partnership with John Stones is getting better every day.
The duo have started City‘s last six Premier League and Champions League games, conceding just one goal in the process and that was from the penalty spot, with Danny Ings scoring in the 6-1 win over Southampton last weekend.
They have earned rave reviews for their performances together and left-footer Laporte says their natural balance is a major asset and part of the reason why Pep Guardiola was willing to pay his £57million Athletic Bilbao release clause in January.
“In football there has always been this idea of having a left-footer and a right-footer in central defence,” he told The Times.
“That’s a concept that Pep himself is also very keen on, having a left-footer and right-footer, which he hasn’t always had before. I think that’s what made him decide to bring me in.
“We work to get better every day. It’s good to drill the defensive movements together, in order to be able to play big matches together, to gain experience together.”
Both Laporte and Stones are comfortable on the ball, giving City even greater options when it comes to building from the back.
That is a key part of Guardiola’s philosophy and Laporte has loved his time working with the Catalan so far.
“His style is all about building from the back, playing with the ball,” he said.
“I love his style of football, it’s something I’ve always tried to emulate, and I’m very happy to have the opportunity to learn his methods at first hand every day.”
While Guardiola and City are happy to play out from the back plenty of their Premier League rivals are equally as keen to test out their willingness to battle.
After arriving in January Laporte was pitched straight in against West Brom, trying to keep Salomon Rondon quiet and defending set-pieces against the likes of Gareth McAuley and Craig Dawson.
“English football is very physical, much more so than Spanish football — I felt it in the first match,” he said.
“After a year I’ve grown to understand it. Everything is harder but that’s the level that you’ve got to aspire to.”
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