Manchester City may have faced their first defeat of the season at Anfield last week but they are still in pole position to win the league title this season. Pep Guardiola must be happy with the way his players have performed this season.
However, he is also looking to solve the futures of star players at the club and one such player, who has been integral to the success Guardiola’s side have had this season is Argentine star Nicolas Otamendi.
Otamendi Signs New, Two-Year Deal:
Having joined Manchester City back in 2015 from La Liga outfit Valencia, Otamendi took his time to establish himself in the first team at the Etihad but has cemented his place at the back under the Spanish manager.
He has been one of the most effective defenders in the league this season and Manchester City have rewarded him with a new deal. The club announced that the 29-year old has extended his contract, that was scheduled to expire in 2020, till 2022.
”I’ve enjoyed my time at City since the first day I arrived and I’m really happy to have extended my stay here by a couple more years,” Otamendi said, talking to the official site.
Having missed just one league game this season, Otamendi has been the best defender for the Citizens and has been unfazed by even the best of attacks in the league. He has also been effective at the other end, scoring four goals and standing as one of the most productive CBs in the top flight.
But what has made him all the more important is the amount of injuries Guardiola’s CBs have succumbed to this season. While Otamendi has managed 22 appearances in the first team, the next most consistent player has been John Stones, who has 13 games to his name. Vincent Kompany has managed to keep himself fit for just 9 games while Eliaquim Mangala has had to start alongside Otamendi on four occasions.
Even with so many changes around him, the 29-year old has been solid at the back, putting in more than a couple of match-winning performances. He is tailor-made for the English game and at 29, is in his best shape as a footballer. So it is no surprise that Guardiola wants him to stay back for years to come.
Manchester City’s Problems:
However, this move by no means solves City’s defensive problems. It is clear that skipper Kompany cannot be depended upon for the next season while Mangala has not done enough to impress Guardiola.
Stones remains a long-term option for City but even Otamendi, who is now 29, will need a replacement in a couple of years. It is hard to see the Argentine stay at the Etihad till 2022 but this deal is expected to be one of many extensions that the club are set to announce, of their star players, which is the right way to go.