Nicolás Otamendi emerges as vital figure for City and Argentina

While much has been made of Manchester City’s fantastic forward line, the foundation has been powerhouse performances from Nicolás Otamendi

One year ago, Manchester City lost back-to-back games against Chelsea and Leicester City that left Pep Guardiola’s side trailing in the wake of Antonio Conte’s eventual champions. A summer overhaul was to be needed and no one more so than Nicolás Otamendi was deemed to be incompatible with the illustrious Spaniard’s system.

What a difference a year makes. City did indeed spend big and Pep Guardiola did bring in players to address the weaknesses that were exploited in his maiden season in England but Otamendi remained.

And the results have been spectacular as City sit eleven points clear of rivals Manchester United, unbeaten after dropping just two points in the process.

Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva and Sergio Agüero all deserve enormous praise for their role in what many in the English media are building up to be one of the great Premier League sides but the rise of Nicolás Otamendi from over-priced, hot-headed, reckless liability to commanding defensive leader has been critical to Pep’s project.

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