Vincent Kompany has handed Manchester City a massive boost ahead of their FA Cup semi-final clash with Arsenal after feeling no ill-effects following his 90 minute run out against Southampton.
The club captain is in line to lead his side out at Wembley after coming through the encounter with the Saints last Sunday unscathed.
The Daily Mirror reported that, if selected to start the crunch game, Kompany will start back-to-back matches for the first time since October as he looks to finally put his injury hell behind him and become a mainstay in Pep Guardiola’s starting lineup.
The Spaniard revealed that it was great news to have Kompany back in the first-team fold after many periods on the treatment table, and backed his talismanic defender to stay fit in the long-term.
He said: “Vincent is top quality. Anyone can discuss his quality. The problem has been his injuries, but finally he is back and can stay fit for us. That’s what we want – not just for Vincent – but all our players.
“I feel sorry for Manuel Pellegrini because he could not use Kompany last season. He’s a real central defender in his passing, but he’s more than just a central defender – he has a great passion, vision and he’s dangerous in set-pieces.
Man City fan raises City scarf in Manchester and Anderlecht fans sing Vincent Kompany’s name in response pic.twitter.com/qvjIpr1TAV
— Premier League Stuff (@EPLStuff) April 20, 2017
“He wins duels, finds the space to play the ball through and hopefully, he can stay fit for us for the remainder of the season.”
Kompany has endured a torrid three years of one setback after another, with hamstring, calf, knee and groin problems all ensuring that the 31-year-old has missed a whopping 75 matches for City since July 2014.
The centre-back, however, returned in the 3-0 away win over Southampton on April 16 – a match he also scored in, much to his obvious relief – and helped the Citizens record their first clean sheet in the Premier League since March 8.
City’s defensive problems have been well covered throughout this season, with frailties at the back shared between haphazardly playing the ball out from the back and a lack of strong leadership from whoever is in goal for Guardiola’s men.
The return of Kompany, though, will add a steel and bite to the club’s rearguard ahead of the game against the Gunners, and will give City fans hope of reaching a first FA Cup final since the 2012/13 season.
Read more from Tom Power by following him on Twitter!
” style=”” contenteditable=”false”>