Manchester City are expecting scans to confirm that Matija Nastasic will be out of action for three weeks following a knock to the ankle which he picked up during the Asia Trophy final against Sunderland.
That would keep him out of the club’s first Premier League game of the season against Newcastle United, but it’s not all doom and gloom because it does mean an opportunity for Joleon Lescott to get his place back.
Lescott was ousted from the side under Roberto Mancini last season following his superb performances as Manchester City won the 2011/2012 Premier League title.
Manuel Pellegrini should recognise the fact that Lescott has a lot of Premier League experience and at just 30-years-old, still has plenty to give in the back four as he heads towards his mid-30s over the next few seasons.
Lescott made just 17 starts and nine sub appearances last season so he may have just been starting to think about the possibility of moving away from the Etihad Stadium before the end of the current transfer window.
That’s in stark contrast to the 30 Premier League starts he made during that title winning 2011/2012 season and those are numbers that Pellegrini is bound to pay attention to.
The fact he may now get a chance he would not have been expecting is significant because it should guarantee that he’ll go all out to produce his very best form, going that little bit further to keep himself in the team and give Pellegrini no reason to go and sign someone else or even bring back Nastasic.
This is also a season where Lescott is going to be looking to play himself back into contention with England, looking to nail down a place in the back four ahead of the World Cup next summer.
That makes it extra significant that he produces his best form for Manchester City when he gets that chance because if he doesn’t, he may not be able to get a place on that plane to Brazil.
The obvious contrast to giving Lescott a chance is for Pellegrini to make good on the rumours which have suggested Pepe as a possible centre back for the club over the last few weeks.
However, Lescott shouldn’t have to worry too much in that respect because several Spanish newspapers and media sources have suggested that Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti isn’t looking to do too much business in terms of players coming and going.
It’s just safer for Pellegrini to put his faith in Lescott, someone who knows the Premier League, knows how to win the Premier League title and someone who knows how to play next to Vincent Kompany.
Do you expect Lescott to get a chance or do you think Pellegrini will go and buy some defensive reinforcements?
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