It's time this Manchester City 'liability' got the credit he deserves

Manchester City defender Martin Demichelis stood out among the Blues defenders on Saturday despite their 1-0 defeat to Stoke City.

A year ago tomorrow, Manchester City signed defender Martin Demichelis as Manuel Pellegrini reunited with his former Malaga and River Plate player.

Despite his reputation and the fact that he had recently agreed a deal to move to Atletico Madrid - the club who would go on to be crowned La Liga champions - it is far to say the Argentine's debut season in blue was not one to write home about.

The centre-back was branded as a liability and questions were asked as to why he was regularly chosen in the heart of Pellegrini's defence.  

Such were his poor early showings that when City were linked with a January move for Eliaquim Mangala, few were surprised.

But the the Blues would have to wait eight more months to see the French international arrive, while Demichelis began to find his feet and show the fans what Pellegrini always knew he was capable of.

So it is an interesting turn of events that Demichelis is beginning to perform to his full potential just when questions will resurface regarding his place in the side, with Mangala tipped to partner Vincent Kompany following his big-money move from FC Porto.

And yet against Stoke City, Demichelis delivered an impressive individual performance despite his side ultimately falling to a 1-0 defeat.

The 33-year-old ended the first half with a 100% passing accuracy (from 40 attempts) and while that dipped to 94.52% by the final whistle, that is still a great performance and one that was considerably better than his defensive teammates.

Demichelis also made six effective clearances - two more than his closest challenger Aleksandar Kolarov and double that of Kompany.

He also won more duels and more interceptions that the Belgian skipper, raising questions that Pellegrini may not find it easy to answer in the weeks ahead.

  Won TackleEffective ClearanceEffective Head ClearanceAerial WonInterception WonPassing AccuracyMins
Bacary Sagna 3 2 1 4 0 89.80 90
Aleksandar Kolarov 2 4 3 2 4 77.78 90
Martín Demichelis 1 6 4 3 3 94.52 90
Vincent Kompany 1 3 1 2 2 89.86 90

In short, the player who was once termed a liability has definitely turned a corner; and with the matches and the competitions coming thick and fast for City this season, Demichelis will feature plenty of times...especially if he can keep up his recent fine form.

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