Ex-Man City defender makes ‘bold’ claim about Pep Guardiola’s centre-back options

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Joleon Lescott feels Manchester City have real strength in depth at the back.

Former Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott has claimed Manchester City currently have the ‘best group of centre-backs’ any Premier League team has ever had.

The Blues’ squad features five quality options at the heart of defence in Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, John Stones, Manuel Akanji and Nathan Ake. Four of those featured on Tuesday night as Pep Guardiola’s men played out a 0-0 draw with Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, a result which guarantees they’ll finish top of Group G.

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The game was a rather dull affair, with both teams seemingly happy to settle for a point at the Signal Iduna Park. But the result was in part due to some solid defending from City, and Lescott feels any pairing from the aforementioned quintet would prove to be a menacing duo for opposition forwards.

The 40-year-old was asked on BT Sport ahead of City’s encounter with Dortmund, who he feels are the club’s two best central defenders, and replied: “I’m going to make a bold statement. I think this is collectively the best group of centre-backs any Premier League team has ever had.

“I think there have been better partnerships, Rio [Ferdinand] and [Nemanja] Vidic, [John] Terry and [Ricardo] Carvalho, arguably better as a partnership. But when Rio or Vidic stepped out the replacements weren’t the same. I think with these four or five centre-backs, I don’t think there is a stronger collective group of centre-backs.”

Lescott went on to select Stones and Laporte as his ideal pairing, before fellow pundit Ferdinand was asked for opinion. “I agree about the strength and collectively… when one or two are out it doesn’t affect the balance of the team,” he said. “My two would be Dias and Stones. I think when those two are in tip top condition they’re the best pairing.”

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