Vincent Kompany's absence from Manchester City's line-up will be giving the title chasers plenty of headaches over the coming weeks.
Kompany's absence for two months last season coincided with a dip in form which
contributed to their inability to defend their title. Some might say that his absence was also a huge contributing factor to Mancini leaving the club.
How long Kompany is out for is still open to interpretation but with crucial Champions League and Premier League games scheduled after the international break, City will be desperate to have him back.
Kompany is a talisman for City. He leads the side on and off the pitch and his sheer presence in the team installs his side with added confidence. He is more than just a player.
Without him in the side City have a win percentage of just 46 per cent and his absence has already been felt this season.
Cardiff City exposed City's defensive frailties from set pieces and Hull City could have easily shocked the Premier League giants, creating chances before City eventually took the lead.
How will City cope when they come up against the giants of the Premier League and the Champions League? More testing may well be an away trip to Stoke where their defenders will come under serious pressure at set pieces. Will they have learnt from their Cardiff capitulation?
City are not a one man team and have recruited well but the centre of defence without him cannot be as solid as when he is in the side. That is not to say City do not have very capable players but unfortunately they are not in the same class as Kompany.
So what about his possible replacements.
Javi Garcia showed weaknesses against Cardiff and will probably not be used again in that position for a while. Matija Nastasic improved as the game went on against Hull but will face sterner tests in the coming weeks.
Joleon Lescott has proven himself in the Premier League but with Kompany he is a much better player and now is the time for him to stand up and take on the leadership skills that Kompany possesses.
Pellegrini has decided to sign Martin Demichelis in the transfer window but although the Argentinian is very experienced he may take time to come to terms with the physicality of the Premier League.
For City's sake lets hope that Kompany is back very soon and does not have to endure any other absences this season.
Do you think City will miss Kompany? Who is the best replacement for him?
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