Manchester City have lost Aymeric Laporte for the foreseeable future and now Pep Guardiola is left with a decision to make in his absence on who should fill his shoes.
John Stones, who is the obvious replacement, is not yet fully fit although he is set to feature after the international break.
The main issue for the team is rotation. Now that they only have two recognized central defenders, who comes in during cup ties and European nights (mostly the League fixture before).
Fernandinho replaced Laporte in defence when the Frenchman got injured and had a steady game. He was largely unbothered by the Brighton attack but for the goal-saving block he made in the first period.
There is also Kyle Walker. A player who has played at centre back as well but as part of a back three with England at the World Cup.
He also has a lot of energy to burn and can play as many games as possible.
The three at the back system can be one Guardiola can adopt at this time. With Joao Cancelo, a really attacking fullback playing at wing-back, it could be a system that works when the squad is rotated.
Otamendi has been an ever-present on the team as well and sooner or later, his stamina will begin to diminish when the team goes on a run of games.
Keeping him fit and fresh will be very important as he is the team’s second-best defender.
It remains to be seen whether City will sign a replacement for the Frenchman in January. He might think that if he does, it will affect the squad’s rhythm.
Whether or not they get replacements, City have the squad to manage their situation very well even though losing their best defender could potentially be a set back for them.
Lineups made with the All Football app