Financial flex: Man City sign Laporte for $80 million

AP Photo/Manu Fernandez
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Let’s pretend, for a brief moment, that Manchester City’s current does indeed have a weakness — what would you, the layman to Pep Guardiola‘s genius, say that weakness is?

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You might contend that they are were a bit thin defensively, especially given captain Vincent Kompany‘s eternal struggle with injuries. You might even be have been right until.

Enter: Man City’s newest $80-million signing — 23-year-old center back Aymeric Laporte, from Athletic Bilbao. The 6-foot-3, yet-to-be-capped Frenchman was officially announced as the club’s first January signing on Tuesday.

All snark about City’s financial flexing aside, with four trophies still in play this season, a reliable third center back was sorely needed during the January window. Laporte should immediately compete with Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones for starter’s minutes.

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Following their capture of Laporte, City have now signed four of the five most expensive defenders in the history of transfers: Laporte ($80 million), Benjamin Mendy ($70 million), Kyle Walker ($70 million), Stones ($68 million), Eliaquim Mangala ($65 million). Only Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool’s $100-million man, got away.