‘Stones & Dias are the new Vidic & Ferdinand’: Man City’s center halves receive huge turnover from Sinclair

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The former Blues winger sees similarities between an established defensive association at the Etihad and a legendary one from Manchester United’s past.

The burgeoning midfield partnership between Ruben Dias and John Stones at Manchester City means the Blues could have the new Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand on their hands, says Trevor Sinclair.

Pep Guardiola hasn’t always seen those at the heart of the four defenders receive so much praise.

Vincent Kompany was once a talismanic presence for City, but his injury woes and his subsequent departure in 2019 left a considerable void for any alternative options to fill.

A lot of money has been invested in trying to fix those problems, with recent windows in which Aymeric Laporte, Dias and Nathan Ake smashed.

Stones was drafted before that, with £ 47.5 million ($ 65 million) invested in his ability to play ball in 2016.

The England international has struggled to maintain consistency during his time at the Etihad Stadium, prompting exit talks on a regular basis, but is currently enjoying a return to form.

The 26-year-old is flourishing alongside Portuguese star Dias, and Sinclair sees similarities between a City couple of today and a legendary Manchester United duo of the past.

The former blues winger said talkSPORT: “I think Manchester City have two ways of playing now.

“If you look at possession against some teams, it’s not what it used to be. They have a possession based game where they are dictating and getting to the last third, but also if they are not enjoying it they will sit down.

“Because they are so confident with John Stones and Ruben Dias, they will sit down and, as we have seen in those 15 minutes in Chelsea, they will hit you at halftime. They have speed going forward and if you give them a half pitch to work they will go and destroy you. “

On the Stones / Dias partnership, Sinclair added: “It has been exceptional. It reminds me a bit of when Vidic and Rio were together: one of them made a block and high five.

“They seem to have that kind of relationship and chemistry where they respect each other.

“It seems that they are a good contrast of players; one of them wants to head, Ruben Dias is a good talker and John Stones stats… he has played eight, won seven, tied one and lost none.

He has a 93.4 percent passing accuracy, which is number one in the league, and this season he has played 10, won nine, tied one and lost none. When he is not in the starting eleven, they played 15, won eight, drew five, lost two.

“It’s there in black and white. He’s great, he’s had tough times and he’s been in the media for the wrong reasons, he’s been kicked out of the England squad, but it seems like he’s got his life back and he’s back on the pitch.

“This is what we knew [Man City] they were buying. Everyone knew he had the potential to play like this and for me this is the best football he has been playing in his career.


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