Pep Guardiola is convinced £64m new boy Ruben Dias will be the answer to Manchester City’s defensive struggles for ‘the next six or seven years’ as he hails ‘incredible’ Portuguese star
- Pep Guardiola says Ruben Dias will be a key player for ‘next six or seven years’
- Dias has sealed a £64million transfer to Manchester City from Benfica
- Portugal defender Dias has set his sights on winning silverware with new club
- City boss Guardiola salutes Nicolas Otamendi after he departs for Benfica
The Portugal international has signed a six-year deal after moving from Benfica and Guardiola believes the 23-year-old can be an immediate answer to his side’s defensive shortcomings.
‘We know Ruben Dias’ personality and I am sure he will be an incredible player for the next six or seven years,’ Guardiola said.
Defender Ruben Dias has completed a £64million move to Manchester City from Benfica
Pep Guardiola believes Dias can be a key figure for Manchester City for ‘six or seven years’
‘We’re very happy to have him. Our back four are now a young team. We start training tomorrow and get going as quick as possible.’
The deal for Dias included Nicolas Otamendi leaving in the opposite direction for £13m and Guardiola has thanked the Argentine for his service.
The 32-year-old contributed during a hugely successful period during which he won seven trophies but had fallen down the pecking order recently under Guardiola.
‘I have to thank Nicolas Otamendi, part of the incredible success we have had in recent years,’ Guardiola said.
‘The season we won the league with 100 points he was incredible.
‘He played with a broken ankle, with 20 stitches, he had a great mentality so I wish him and his family all the best. He will be one of the things I will always remember about this club.’
Otamendi, who made 210 appearances for City having joined from Valencia for £32m in 2015, has vowed to make the most of his new opportunity at Benfica.
‘In each team I played, I defended the jersey as unique, with professionalism, trying to grow, both in football and personal, and leave a good image,’ Otamendi said on his arrival in Lisbon.
‘Now I wear Benfica’s jersey and I will defend it until death or until the day I have to leave.’
Meanwhile, Dias has set his sights on helping the club bank silverware after his arrival at City.
Dias fits the bill for Pep
- Dias made more than 100 appearances in three seasons for Lisbon giants Benfica
- The 23-year-old defender has been capped 19 times by Portugal.
- Has a reputation as one of the most promising defenders in Europe
- Was a Portuguese league title winner with Benfica in 2018-19
- He is City’s third signing of the transfer window following Nathan Ake and winger Ferran Torres
Dias, who made his Portugal debut against Tunisia in May 2018 and made 137 appearances for Lisbon giants Benfica, also said the chance to work under Guardiola was key to his decision in joining the English Premier League club.
‘To have the opportunity to join a club like Manchester City is fantastic for me and one I couldn’t turn down,’ said Dias, who could make his City debut at Leeds on Saturday.
‘I believe I can improve here, at a club whose ambitions match my own and I will give everything to be successful and win titles.
‘It is really exciting to be part of such a talented squad and to play for a world class manager like Pep, who has a proven track record of developing young players like myself.
‘The competition is different and here the opponents will be a level higher, but the mentality of the club is the same, it is win or win.
City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, said: ‘Ruben is a player we have admired for some time and we have been impressed with how he has progressed at Benfica.
‘He has developed into a real leader and as a defender, he has all the attributes we are looking for. He is strong in the air, good in one v one situations and technically, he is very good, so we are confident he can thrive in our system.’