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What Ruben Dias’ Injury has Cost Manchester City

Blues Defender Sidelined With Hamstring Issue

Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

Ruben Dias has been a huge success since moving to Manchester City and the Premier League in 2020. The Portuguese hit the ground running and quickly established himself as one of the best players in his position, not just in the Premier League, but in world football.

The 25-year-old has grown from strength to strength since. The fact that he was handed the captain’s armband last term speaks to how much of an influence he is among the players, both on and off the pitch.

His relatively short time at the Etihad Stadium has seen the team reach the Champions League final for the first time in addition to winning several domestic trophies. He was even named Player of the Year for the 2020/2021 campaign.

That’s huge for a centre-back, even more so considering that he plays in a team parading some of the best players in the world, among whom are Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva.

However, this season has been a bit different for both the centre-back and the team. The defender has been on the sidelines with a hamstring injury since he returned from the World Cup. His absence has been felt as City have lost ground to Arsenal in the title race. The Gunners now sit top of the table halfway into the campaign.

Unlike last season when the Portuguese was usually the first defender on the team sheet for most of the campaign, he has started only nine games this time around. He also contributed two goals and four assists to help the team secure the league title. So far this term, there has been no contribution in that regard.

But perhaps the most significant area has been in his primary duty on the pitch; stopping the opposing team from scoring.

So far City have been sloppy in defence during the last 15 minutes of games. It’s a new habit that has cost the team valuable points in the title race.

All three of City’s losses this season have come as a result of late goals. Against Liverpool at Anfield, Brentford at the Etihad Stadium, and more recently, Manchester United at Old Trafford. In all cases, City’s backline has been more or less experimental.

Dias was sidelined due to injury in the last two with the team struggling to keep up with Mikel Arteta’s side in the race. The Blues are now in a do-or-die situation with Arsenal. Sorting out things at the back will be vital to make up ground.

Thankfully, Dias is back now and ready to feature again. His form and presence in the City defence could make the difference, not just in the Premier League title race, but also in the team’s European ambition.