With Nathan Ake out injured Josko Gvardiol now has a critical role to play

Following Sunday’s scoreless draw against Arsenal Manchester City suffered another injury blow with Nathan Ake suffering an injury. Pep Guardiola has confirmed that the Dutch international faces a spell on the sidelines due to the injury he picked up against Mikel Arteta’s side. But his absence now means that Josko Gvardiol has a pivotal role play for the foreseeable future.

The Croatian international has had a steady debut season since arriving at Manchester City from RB Leipzig. Gvardiol has primarily featured as a left-back for the world champions this campaign. His ability on the ball has stood out, as well as his considerable defensive acumen. While he hasn’t been perfect, it is clear that he has now adjusted to the demands placed on him by Pep Guardiola.

The display from Josko Gvardiol during Sunday’s draw with Arsenal was arguably the Croatians’ best display of the season. He again played at left-back, and he drifted forward to be a threat when City had possession. He also showed his defensive ability with some crucial challenges to stop Arsenal’s counterattacks. It was one of the more polished performances from Gvardiol this season. It also bodes well for what may come in the remainder of the season from the young defender.

With Nathan Ake out injured, Josko Gvardiol now has a pivotal role to play during his absence. He showed what he is capable of at left-back on Sunday. It is now on the Croatian to make the role his own. The big games will come thick and fast over the coming weeks. If Gvardiol builds on his impressive showing against Arsenal, it will only benefit the world champions.

Nathan Ake’s injury is a blow to Manchester City. He has become one of City’s most dependable defenders during his time at the club. But his absence has now provided Josko Gvardiol with the opportunity to step up. It is vital to their treble defence that he does. There is no doubt of his pedigree, but if he can nail down his position during Ake’s absence, it could be a crucial factor in helping Manchester City navigate through the challenges ahead that begin tonight against Aston Villa.

Tags Arsenal Aston Villa English Premier League Josko Gvardiol Manchester City Nathan Ake Pep Guardiola