Manchester City record another suffering from an early season injury crisis at centre-back, and Pep Guardiola’s possible solution, Luke Mbete, added to those problems in the friendly against FC Barcelona.
Luke Mbete replaced Ruben Dias in the 64th minute when Pep Guardiola made a treble substitution with Ilkay Gündoğan and Kevin de Bruyne coming on to replace Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden.
However, it wasn’t an appearance that the 18-year-old would have had in mind with a clash of heads in the 85th minute with Barcelona’s Andreas Christensen forcing the Manchester City player off after a lengthy delay.
Guardiola’s issue at centre-back started with Aymeric Laporte already being a long-term absentee for Manchester City whilst recovering from knee surgery and Nathan Ake being forced off at the weekend against Newcastle.
The Dutch international has since had it confirmed that he injured his groin by Guardiola and it is unclear how long he will be out, as for Laporte, there has been no timescale put on his recovery which was already a cause for concern for the defending champions.
With Ruben Dias and John Stones as the only senior options in Guardiola’s side, it was time for the Catalan manager to look towards Mbete, someone he rates highly.
“He trained with us for a long time. His application is really high. He’s still young but tomorrow he’ll be in the team and maybe we’ll need him.”
Pep Guardiola is likely to reveal more about the current injury situation during his Friday press conference prior to getting back to Premier League action against Crystal Palace on Saturday 27th August at 3 pm.