Men's Team

Aymeric Laporte: Champions in focus

Aymeric Laporte is the latest member of Pep Guardiola’s title-winning squad to be put under the spotlight.

It was another hugely successful campaign for City, as we retained the Premier League on the final day.

And the Spanish centre-half more than played his part in another memorable season, helping to marshal the English top flight’s meanest defence across 2021/22.

Look back on Laporte’s season in greater detail below…

Season stats

Total appearances (all competitions): 44

Total goals: 4

Premier League appearances: 33

Total cumulative minutes: 3,757

Season highlight

While Laporte’s defensive qualities are what makes him one of the best centre-backs in world football, the Spaniard also pitched in with some important goals over the course of the campaign.

Indeed, the 28-year-old found the net more than any other player in his position across the 2021/22 Premier League season, with his danger from set-pieces perfectly demonstrated away to Southampton in January 2022.

Despite dominating at St. Mary’s, City found ourselves one goal down as the game ticked over the hour mark.

But Laporte was on hand to grab the all-important equaliser, powering home Kevin De Bruyne’s cross at the far post.

And in what was one of his best individual performances of the campaign, the Spaniard also made a vital block at the other end to prevent the lively Armando Broja from getting on the scoresheet.

While City’s 12-match winning run would end following our 1-1 draw, Laporte’s standout performance ensured we at least earned a share of the spoils.

Overview

Under Pep Guardiola, each member of the City squad must be comfortable on the ball, regardless of their position.

Laporte epitomises this essential quality, with the boss even describing him as the best left-sided centre-half in world football back in January 2020, hailing his importance in bringing City’s style of play into fruition.

Indeed, the Spaniard completed more passes than any other Premier League player across 2021/22, with his 94.8% success rate also the best across the English top-flight.

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The centre-back’s total of 2,767 successful passes was over 1,000 more than any of his teammates, and over 3,000 more than a non-City player over the course of the campaign.

The Spaniard offers a consistently solid foundation from which we can build attacks, also capable of picking up possession in dangerous areas when under pressure.

Aerially dominant with a keen positional intelligence and turn of pace, Guardiola’s assessment of Laporte back in January 2020 certainly still rings true to this day.

He even broke new ground in April 2022 when a 2-0 victory away to Burnley saw him earn more Premier League points (254) than any other player in the competition after 100 appearances.

What they said

“He’s not just a great defender, he’s a wonderful footballer too.

“A lot of our attacks start with him passing between the lines.

“He’s got the big diagonal in the bag and he chips in with a lot of important goals too.”

Paul Dickov speaking on Matchday Live following City’s 2-0 win over Burnley in April 2022.

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