Monday 18 December 2017

Guardiola: Kompany may never get back to his best

Vincent Kompany has been plauged by injuries Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images
Vincent Kompany has been plauged by injuries Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Luke Edwards

Pep Guardiola admits there are doubts about Vincent Kompany's future at Manchester City.

Kompany, who has had 35 different injuries since he signed for City in 2008, is in contention to make his return against Everton at Goodison Park tomorrow, yet Guardiola conceded that he is not sure whether the defender will ever get back to his best.

If Kompany remains free of injuries and gets a consistent run in the side, he remains City's best defender, as well as their captain, but Guardiola is trying to ensure the 30-year-old does not put too much pressure on himself.

However, with the Belgium international's place in City's Champions League squad under threat because of his injury record, Guardiola admitted he is not sure whether Kompany will be the same player for City.

"The good news is that Vincent is back. Hopefully he stays fit for a long time because then we will see what level he is at," said the manager.

"When he is fit, he is at the top level, but to achieve that he needs a bit of time. Everybody needs that when you have been out for a long time.

"Mentally he is strong. He knows what he needs to do, but what I would like is for him not to put pressure on himself.

"He needs weeks and weeks of training sessions and to just go out there and play games. He doesn't have to put pressure on himself to do amazing things. He just has to do the simple things and be the defender he was.

"Once he is back up and running, he will achieve the things he wants. He wants to be perfect immediately - in this business, you are judged immediately - but he has to feel his way."

Guardiola continues to believe that John Stones will excel for City and backed him to manage an emotional return to Everton.

"John is strong enough to handle the situation," he said.

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