The defender’s influence has transformed a team already full of world class players.
Manchester City signed Ruben Dias from SL Benfica for a sum of £65m in September 2020. The fee paid for the defender did not come as a shock due to the immense potential of the player, who was chased by several elite European clubs.
The Portuguese came into a side which was star-studded due to expensive recruitment over the years and immediately became indispensable to Pep Guardiola’s plans.
Since his signing, the 23-year-old has become the most critical piece of the puzzle to Manchester City’s cause and here are the reasons.
5. Similar impact to Virgil van Dijk’s at Liverpool
Ruben Dias’s impact at Manchester City can easily be compared to the kind of instant improvement Liverpool went through after signing Virgil van Dijk for a world record transfer fee at the time. The Reds went on to win the UEFA Champions League and the Premier League soon after thanks to a solid defense backing an incredible attack.
If the first 25 games are to be considered, under Ruben Dias, Man City have only conceded 10 goals and won 16 games. In comparison, Van Dijk’s first 25 games for Liverpool saw them concede 24 times.
4. A team capable of fighting on all fronts
Pep Guardiola is the type of manager that likes to win every competition possible. Their dominance of the EFL League Cup is a testament to the fact that Pep wants to win everything on offer. In order to fight on all fronts, the squad needs depth and quality.
A defence which already has immensely talented players like John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake, Ruben Dias is the crown on top of the jewel. His presence will allow Pep to rotate to his heart’s liking and have solid defensive pairs for both domestic and European competitions.
3. Vincent Kompany’s successor
There is no doubt about the fact that finding a replacement to club legend and former skipper Vincent Kompany has been a tough task. The Belgian was the driving force behind Cityzens’ recent domination on the domestic front.
However, the English giants have finally found a figure in Dias who can command the team in the same manner as Kompany. He emits the same leadership qualities as the Belgian and could go on to be the regular captain in future.
2. A player for the next decade
While Manchester City’s success has been built on a plan which is short-term, Ruben Dias is a player that secures the defensive front for at least the next 10 years. The 23-year-old still has his peak years ahead of him and will mature into a better player.
Partnership with John Stones has been a revelation and the relatively young center-back duo will continue to lead the backline for years to come. Interestingly, Ruben Dias is the youngest center-back in the team, barring Eric Garcia who is expected to depart in the coming months.
1. Transformation into a winning side
In recent years, Manchester City have reached the pinnacle of English football on multiple occasions, but staying at the top and repeating success is a different task altogether. Their aim of winning the league for three consecutive years, like their neighbors Manchester United, has failed.
With the arrival of Ruben Dias and his influence, MCFC have solidified their defence, a department which looked frail in recent years. Now, the outfit has incredible balance and are looking like a team that won’t simply reach the top but will most likely stay there.