Manchester City have had a wonderful season, with the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva and Raheem Sterling taking most of the plaudits, but Pep Guardiola has reserved special praise for defender, Nicolas Otamendi.
City have opened up what looks like an unassailable 15 point lead at the top of the Premier League, and while they have been blowing teams away by a number of goals, Guardiola believes that none of it would be possible without the former Valencia defender.
Back in November, many people predicted that City would drop some points after John Stones was ruled out for around six weeks, but Otamendi has stepped up to the mark and impressed at the back, as well as also chipping in with four league goals.
John Stones is now almost ready to return, but Guardiola was keen to praise his defensive partner:
“John is much, much better but he is not ready for 90 minutes. For the next games he’ll be fit. It’s huge news. We (also) have a superman in the team in Nico.
“Without Nico we wouldn’t have done what we’d done. He’s been amazing. Even with pain, in the ankle and knee, he always fights.
“What I admire the most is the fact that maybe something is not his strength but he tries and he does it.
“It’s not easy to play 40 metres in front. It’s so demanding. These kind of things can only happen if you are brave.
“He’s reading the situations on where to pass amazingly. I’m really impressed. He’s reading it well. The runs in behind, when to jump, when not to.”
Manchester City will look to extend their 18 game winning run on Sunday with an away trip to face Crystal Palace.