Ruben Dias: The Final Piece of The Pep Guardiola Puzzle?

Ruben Dias: The Final Piece of The Pep Guardiola Puzzle?

On September 29th, 2020, Manchester City announced the signing of Benfica’s Ruben Dias on a six-year deal. The Portuguese center-back becomes the latest in a long line of defensive reinforcements signed by Pep Guardiola throughout his reign at the Etihad Stadium. Unlike those before him, however, the Citizens’ faithful will be hopeful that the 23-year-old will bring consistency and reliability to the backline alongside Aymeric Laporte. So, let’s take a look at whether Dias will be the catalyst in taking City back to the Premier League title. 

Central Defense Has Long Been a Problem Position 

As mentioned above, the Sky Blues’ Spanish manager has spent a significant amount of money in trying to solidify his defense during his four-year spell in Manchester. According to a report by Football365, the most successful English team of the 2010s have spent approximately $552.5 million on defenders since Guardiola’s arrival. By comparison, Liverpool, the current Premier League champions, have paid only $131.9 million for their backline, with $96.8 million of that purchasing Virgil van Dijk from Southampton. 

Following the $72.9 million signing of Dias, Guardiola stated that the 23-year-old can be a pivotal figure in City’s long-term future, as per Goal. Although the Citizens bought Nathan Ake earlier in the window, the arrival of Dias ends the club’s lengthy search for a right-sided center-back. With Nicolas Otamendi going to Benfica in a separate deal, the club’s 49-year-old manager will be relying on the six-foot-two Portuguese international to bring much-needed stability to an often-fragile defense.  

Crucially, going forward, the costly acquisition is part of the Citizens’ ambitions to close the gap to Liverpool in their pursuit of the Premier League title, as well as seeking to win the club’s first UEFA Champions League trophy.  

What Does His Arrival Mean for City in 2020-21? 

After the disappointment of the 2019-20 season, in which the Sky Blues only won the Carabao Cup, far more is expected of them throughout the ongoing season. In many ways, the signing of Dias puts City under increased pressure given the significant finances used to assemble Guardiola’s new-look defense. The Spaniard, however, will likely be unfazed by that expectation, having won two league titles in just four years at the Etihad.   

Despite last season’s issues, the Citizens will still be among the favorites for each competition that they’re in at the reviewed operators listed at SportsBettingMarkets. Given that many of the comparison site’s trusted sportsbooks cover a wide array of sports markets, prospective bettors will be able to take advantage of numerous sign-up bonuses when immersing themselves in City’s trophy-chasing campaign. Furthermore, with football being one of the most popular sports in the betting industry, extensive offerings are available surrounding the Premier League, which Guardiola will be determined to win. 

A Logical Acquisition with the Talent to Make the Difference 

Ultimately, the Sky Blues have been crying out for a consistent option to partner Laporte. While Otamendi and John Stones failed to nail down that position as their own, it opens the door for Dias to turn City’s defense into a formidable unit capable of winning major honors, including the sought-after Champions League.