Ruben Dias proves Man City have their perfect Vincent Kompany replacement – Alex Brotherton – Manchester Evening News


image Alex Brotherton 08:00, 26 SEP 2021 Sport opinion Ruben Dias is showing all the hallmarks of becoming City’s first choice captain.Get the City transfer window latest, team news, match updates and analysis delivered straight to your inbox

Subscribe After a superb 1-0 win away at Chelsea, there are likely to be a lot of Manchester City fans that are going to have a new lock screen photo on their phones.

Leading his teammates over to the travelling City support, who had been typically brilliant all game, Ruben Dias did the most Vincent Kompany of Vincent Kompany things.

Roaring with delight he took off his shirt and threw it into the away end, veins and muscles throbbing, fists clenched and pumping the air.

Like Kompany, to Dias winning football matches just means more.In the absence of Fernandinho and Ilkay Gundogan in the starting line-up, Dias wore the captain's armband for only the second time in his year at the club.With it clinging to his exposed bicep as he celebrated the win, he looked like he never wanted to take it off.

Rodri's Stamford Bridge masterclass leaves Man City fans wondering what might have been Gabriel Jesus breaks Chelsea hoodoo and proves Man City boss Pep Guardiola right Dias is many things.

He is a superb defender, an underrated ballplayer and an inspirational leader.

It's almost a year to the day since the Portuguese centre-back joined City from Benfica, but it feels like he has been at the club forever.

In that short period of time, Dias has quickly become irreplaceable in Pep Guardiola's plans.

The Portugal international has played every single minute of City's Premier League campaign so far, a feat matched only by Ederson and compatriot Joao Cancelo.

Ruben Dias of Manchester City interacts with Gabriel Jesus.(Image: Manchester City FC via Getty Images) Since defeat to Spurs on the opening day of the season, City have not conceded a goal in over eight hours of Premier League football.

That has largely been down to Dias.

As he showed in victory over Chelsea, he is a rock, a one-man barricade more than comfortable in Guardiola's intricate passing system, but most at home when his back is up against the wall and City need a leader.

In six Premier League matches this season he has made nine blocks, more than any other City player, indicating his dedication to the cause and desire to get stuck in.Just as it looked like Chelsea might nick a late and undeserved goal on Saturday, Dias flung himself in-front of a Kai Havertz shot to save the day, as he has done many times before.

What he's brought to City is a perfect blend of style and substance, rough and smooth, impeccable technical ability and good old-fashioned strength and determination.He has also brought a sense of leadership City sorely lacked after Kompany's 2019 departure.

Of course, Kompany should not be compared to anyone.He is a one-off, a living legend whose importance to City is forever woven into the very fabric of the club, not just acknowledged by a statue outside the Etihad Stadium.

Dias consoles a distraught Phil Foden after the Champions League final defeat in May.

But when Dias led his side out before kick-off, it felt eerily similar to Vinny's best days.

We all know what to expect from Ruben.He's only 24 years old and he's barely been in the building five minutes, but his demeanour and attitude belongs to a defender 10 years his senior.

When someone makes an important tackle, he is their cheerleader.

When someone plays a ball they shouldn't, he is their critic.When things go wrong, like in the Champions League final, Dias is the one to console and pick up the pieces.

There are plenty of elite central defenders out there, but not many have such leadership qualities that you cannot teach.

Fan Brands – Man City You may notice this piece of writing has been produced by a name you're not familiar with on our regular Manchester City content.

That is because we are expanding our horizons and starting to bring even more to you from a whole host of different voices.We have appointed a whole host of people who – like our journalists – care deeply about what's happening at Etihad Stadium – but sit in the stands rather than the press box.

We want to give you raw, authentic fan voices about the big issues at Man City – which is why the story you have read today might sit on Manchester Evening News for now, and is part of the MEN family, but is not representative of those who work there full time.

Keep your eyes peeled for more info on where you can read more from this author in the future.But in the meantime, we hope you enjoy what they have written.

City knew what they were getting when they paid £61m for Dias – one of the best defenders in the world with the ability to meet Guardiola's high ball-playing standards.What they perhaps didn't expect was to be signing their future captain.

Like Kompany, Dias brings far more to this City team than just being good at football; he brings leadership, responsibility and humility.

You could not ask for a better ambassador for City and representative of the fans.Not since Vinny have we been able to say that.

How important do you think Ruben Dias is to City? Follow our new City Fan Brands Writer Alex Brotherton on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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