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‘Big mistake to compare Dias with Kompany’ – Guardiola says Man City’s £62m defender is ‘unique’

10:07 BST 19/10/2020
Ruben Dias Manchester City 2020-21
The Blues have been looking for someone to step into the boots of a Belgian legend, but a club-record signing is not at the Etihad to emulate anyone

Pep Guardiola says it would be a “big mistake” to compare Ruben Dias with Vincent Kompany as Manchester City have sought to bring in another “unique” talent, rather than a new version of a legendary Belgian centre-half.

The Blues faced plenty of calls for further defensive reinforcements to be snapped up heading into the last transfer window, and that advice was heeded, with big-money deals put in place for Nathan Ake and club-record signing Dias.

As a £62 million ($81m) addition at the Etihad Stadium, the Portugal international has a lot to live up to in Manchester.

Not only does he have to provide an immediate return on a hefty price tag, but many are also looking for him to fill the void created by Kompany’s departure in the summer of 2019.

The early signs have been encouraging in City’s bid to find another on-field leader, but Guardiola says Dias is very much his own man and not a player to follow in anyone’s footsteps.

The Blues boss told reporters: “It would be a big mistake to compare him to Vincent.

“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 suffered a lot the last season so especially the last season we suffered 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 build-up and create the spaces where we want to play but today in a difficult game he was there.”

Guardiola added: “The most important thing for Ruben is he is a leader. 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 shown.”

Dias helped City to a welcome clean sheet in their most recent outing, with the Blues edging out Arsenal 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium to lift themselves into the top half of the Premier League after what has been an inconsistent start to their latest bid for title glory.