It’s no secret that the Sky Blues have struggled defensively this season, with the departure of club legend and ex-captain Vincent Kompany debatably being one of the main catalysts, but City may have found the perfect heir to his throne in the form of Benfica ace Ruben Dias.
Dias has been a mainstay for the Primeira Liga side this season, starting 24 league games and helping to guide Aguias to within touching distance of top spot in a battle with FC Porto for the domestic crown.
Statistically, as per WhoScored, Dias appears to hit all the sweet spots when it comes to defensive attributes that would entice Pep Guardiola – amassing an impressive 88.8% pass success rate from the back whilst making more tackles on average than both Aymeric Laporte and John Stones over 2019/2020.
Could Ruben Dias succeed Kompany at the Etihad?
Yes, trigger his release clause now
No, Kompany is irreplaceable
However, the 23-year-old stalwart will not come cheap, as a past report from the paper edition of Record via Sport Witness explains – with both City and Barcelona becoming the top candidates for his signature last month.
The Portuguese news outlet claims that it would take a monumental €100 million (£89.3 million) offer to trigger his release clause, but the temptation of a larger salary could convince Dias to force a move to the blue half of Manchester.
Laporte’s absence due to injuries, Fernandinho being unable to cover in defensive midfield, Stones and Otamendi’s inconsistent form plus the departure of Kompany are debatably huge causes for City’s defensive struggles this season – with a natural ball-playing centre half who could succeed the Belgian looking like a necessity.
Furthermore, Dias has also proved to be a colossus in the air, winning a staggering 85.24% of his aerial duels when inside his own defensive third and standing at 6ft 1.
Indeed, while his £89.3m fee could prove to be an obstacle, Dias could arguably be worth the heavy investment.