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Guardiola names Walker amongst centre-half options

NEW ROLE: Pep Guardiola has not ruled out utilising Kyle Walker as a centre-back in Aymeric Laporte's absence.

NEW ROLE: Pep Guardiola has not ruled out utilising Kyle Walker as a centre-back in Aymeric Laporte's absence.

Pep Guardiola says Kyle Walker could be deployed at the heart of City’s defence in the absence of Aymeric Laporte.

The Frenchman left the pitch on a stretcher against Brighton and while it remains to be seen how long he will be out for, his injury leaves the champions with just two senior central defenders.

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Guardiola has explained that Fernandinho is a viable third option after John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi and listed Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis as Academy graduates who could be called upon if needed.

But the Catalan also believes Walker, who played in a back three for England at the 2018 World Cup, could be used as a centre-half.

“We wait, but it doesn’t look good [for Laporte],” said the boss after City’s 4-0 win over the Seagulls.

“It is what it is. It’s happened and the other guys will make a step forward.

“If one day I need to put Kyle Walker as a central defender, he is going to play there.

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Fernandinho: 'I'll play wherever I'm needed'

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“We are going to find solutions. I am sad for Leroy, I am sad for Laporte today. I am concerned, but we are going to move forward.”

Having lost Laporte, Guardiola confirmed that Stones will be fit for Norwich City, our first game after the international break.

The pause of domestic action does however mean the boss will have to wait to give Fernandinho an opportunity to acclimatise himself on the training pitch with the requirements of centre-half.

“No, never,” Pep said when asked if he’d already started working with the Brazilian on a defensive role.

“He needs some processes, defensively especially. He is intelligent with a lot of experience and we will work with him.

“Unfortunately we cannot right now because of the international break but we are going to work on it. We need him in this position.

“He is a typical captain. He thinks for the group more than himself. He has incredible respect in the locker room, that’s why he can do it.”

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