Pep Guardiola has played down comparisons between Manchester City’s new defensive recruit Ruben Dias and former City captain Vincent Kompany.
Kompany departed the Etihad after 11 years of marshalling the City backline, and the Citizens visibly struggled to cope without him during the 2019/20 campaign as they failed to defend the Premier League title.
The club thoroughly addressed the void left by Kompany during the recent transfer window, spending £41m to snap up Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake, followed by a club-record £62m to bring in Dias from Benfica.
Dias has looked promising during his first two outings in a City shirt, but Guardiola has stopped short of anointing him as the new Kompany.
“It would be a big mistake to compare him to Vincent,” Guardiola said, via the Manchester Evening News.
“Vincent is unique. Ruben is unique, he is 22, 23, it is like with Ederson. Both guys defend, Nathan and Ruben they don’t make mistakes and we suffer a lot the last season so especially the last season we suffer a lot from the mistakes we have done.
“We have to improve but I feel they are real defenders, so now I have to help them to do the buildup and create the spaces where we want to play but today in a difficult game he was there.”
The City boss did go on to praise Dias, highlighting his quality and leadership abilities – all the more impressive given his tender age.
“The most important thing for Ruben is he is a leader,” Guardiola added. “In a short time he will lead the team, the pressure, just 23 years old.
“We cannot forget he is the central defender for Portugal and when this happens he is something special. We are delighted so far with what he has seen.”