In a surprising turn of events, Spanish defender Aymeric Laporte has bid adieu to Manchester City, setting his sails for a new voyage with Saudi Pro League outfit Al Nassr. The move, valued at a hefty 27.5 million euros (£23.6 million), marks the end of Laporte’s association with the Premier League giants after an eventful stint.
Having arrived at the Etihad Stadium from Athletic Bilbao back in January 2018 for a then-record-breaking fee of £57 million, Laporte quickly established himself as a stalwart in City’s defensive line. His contributions played a pivotal role in the club’s acquisition of a dozen major honors during his time there. Yet, despite these accomplishments, the 29-year-old found himself on the periphery last season, making just 24 appearances as City clinched the elusive Treble.
Taking to social media to share his sentiments, Laporte expressed his gratitude to the fans and teammates who have been part of his remarkable journey at the club. “It has lasted five-and-a-half unforgettable years. Plenty of memories that I will keep forever close to my heart,” he conveyed. From triumphs to setbacks, victories to injuries, every experience has contributed to shaping the person he is today, and Laporte is appreciative of every single moment.
With a touch of sentimentality, Laporte noted, “It was an honour and a pleasure to wear these colours and I hope you will remember me in a good way.” It’s clear that his bond with Manchester City runs deep, as he added, “I will always be a City fan and I look forward to seeing you all again.”
Throughout his tenure at the club, Laporte appeared in 180 matches, netting an impressive 12 goals from the backline. However, as last season unfolded, opportunities became scarcer due to the emergence of defenders like Manuel Akanji and Nathan Ake. City’s decision to invest £77 million in bringing in Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol further limited Laporte’s chances on the field.
City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, voiced his appreciation for Laporte’s contributions, acknowledging his integral role in the team’s accomplishments over the years. “The form of the other defenders in the squad made it hard for him to find sufficient game time in 2022-23, and we respect his decision to seek a move elsewhere,” Begiristain added.
Laporte’s football journey has witnessed an international twist as well. After switching his international allegiance from France to Spain in May 2021, he swiftly amassed 22 caps and played a vital role in Spain’s triumphant Uefa Nations League final in June.
Joining the ranks of high-profile players at Al Nassr, Laporte finds himself in esteemed company alongside stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Sadio Mane, Marcelo Brozovic, Alex Telles, and Seko Fofana. Notably, Al Nassr is one of four Saudi Pro League clubs that recently came under the umbrella of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) in June. This consortium also encompasses Al-Ittihad, Al-Hilal, and Al-Ahli.
As Laporte takes his talents to new shores, Manchester City bids farewell to a player whose contributions have etched a significant chapter in the club’s history. His journey from the Etihad to Al Nassr will undoubtedly pique the interest of fans worldwide, sparking conversations about the ever-evolving landscape of football transfers. And as the summer transfer window continues to surprise us with its twists and turns, one thing is certain: Laporte’s story is far from its final chapter.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Transition
Who is Aymeric Laporte?
Aymeric Laporte is a Spanish defender who previously played for Manchester City in the Premier League. He joined City in January 2018 from Athletic Bilbao for a then-club record fee.
Why did Aymeric Laporte leave Manchester City?
Laporte left Manchester City to join Saudi Pro League side Al Nassr in a deal worth £23.6 million. He found opportunities limited in the last season due to the emergence of other defenders in the squad.
How many appearances did Laporte make for Manchester City?
During his time at Manchester City, Laporte made a total of 180 appearances, contributing 12 goals from the backline.
What did Laporte achieve at Manchester City?
Laporte played a key role in helping Manchester City win 12 major honors during his tenure at the club, including league titles and domestic cups.
Why did Laporte switch his international allegiance?
In May 2021, Laporte switched his international allegiance from France to Spain. He has since earned 22 caps and was part of Spain’s victorious Uefa Nations League campaign.
Who else has joined Al Nassr?
Laporte is among several high-profile players who have joined Al Nassr, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Sadio Mane, Marcelo Brozovic, Alex Telles, and Seko Fofana.
What is the significance of Laporte’s move to Al Nassr?
Laporte’s move reflects the dynamic nature of football transfers, where players seek new challenges and opportunities in different leagues and clubs.
How did Laporte express his feelings about leaving Manchester City?
Laporte shared a heartfelt message on social media, expressing his gratitude to the fans and teammates for an unforgettable time at Manchester City. He also mentioned that he’ll always be a City fan.
How did Laporte’s departure impact Manchester City?
City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, acknowledged Laporte’s contribution to the club and stated that Laporte’s decision to seek a move elsewhere was respected due to limited playing time.
What other players have moved to Saudi Arabia recently?
Apart from Laporte, players like Riyad Mahrez, Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Ruben Neves, and Neymar have also made moves to Saudi Pro League clubs in the summer transfer window.
More about Transition
- Aymeric Laporte leaves Manchester City for Al Nassr – BBC Sport
- Aymeric Laporte’s farewell message on social media – Instagram
- Al Nassr’s roster of high-profile players – Sky Sports
- Saudi Pro League’s recent acquisitions – Goal.com
- Txiki Begiristain’s comments on Laporte’s departure – Manchester City official website