- 21 Feb 2024
Guardiola declares Man City star as one of his best ever signings
Man City boss Pep Guardiola believes Ruben Dias is one of the best signings he has made while in charge of the Premier League side.
Though Guardiola’s City have always been excellent going forward, the former Barcelona and Bayern head coach has usually had to chop and change his personnel at the back to find consistency, particularly after the retirement of talismanic captain Vincent Kompany.
In 2020/21, Man City have by far the best defensive record in the league, having conceded just 13 goals in their opening 20 matches.
A major contributing factor to this has been the performances of summer signing Ruben Dias, who has excelled in his first season in the Premier League since his £61.64 million [€68m] transfer from Benfica.
City’s solidity in defence has provided them with the platform for an assault on the title, as they currently lead the table level on points with Man Utd but with two games in hand.
Guardiola has praised the impact of Dias, confirming his status as one of his best ever acquisitions.
“Absolutely, so far,” the City manager said when asked the question about his top signings.
“He settled in immediately. He is a guy who lives 24 hours for his profession.
“Everything he does on and off the pitch – eating, sleeping, recovering – is to be perfect for the 95 minutes of the game. It depends on him to maintain it. Hopefully, we can help him to grow.”
Dias has started 18 of the 20 Premier League games of the season so far, and Guardiola admits that his performances make him basically an automatic starter every week.
“Right now, yes,” Guardiola said when asked if it was hard to leave him out of the starting XI.
“He’s not just a player who plays good, he is a player who makes the other guys play good too.
“He is talking for 90 minutes, communication, 90 minutes believing, 90 minutes saying what we have to do in every single action. When that happens, it is difficult for me to drop him.”
Dias has formed a formidable partnership with John Stones at the back, with the England defender currently enjoying a revitalised career with Man City having previously lost his place in the team to the likes of Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake.