Aymeric Laporte says he will come back a stronger player for Manchester City

Defender has had time to recover from an injury-hit season

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Sheffield United v Manchester City - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - January 21, 2020  Manchester City's Aymeric Laporte          Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith  EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  Please contact your account representative for further details./File Photo
Powered by automated translation

Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte is looking forward to returning as a stronger player when football gets the green light to continue after the pandemic.

Laporte has benefited from the enforced break, getting more time to recover from the injuries that have restricted him to only eight appearances during the season.

He suffered a knee injury in September, and then hobbled off against Real Madrid in February.

“I maybe pushed too hard after coming back, too much to be on my highest level, but I worked a lot and for that I am happy because I could be in one of my best moments after the injury," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“It was one of the worst moments for me, the injury, but I'm strong. I think I could be back stronger.

“After the Real Madrid game it was not a big injury. It was something light. I could have recovered one week after the game, so it was not something serious.

“I am okay. I can play the rest of the season without a problem.

“When I came back I was very strong and very focused and my physical condition was very well."

Laporte joined City in 2018 from Spanish side Athletic Bilbao, where he played under the current Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa.

“Looking back now is different to how it was then,” said Laporte. “When I was working with him it was so difficult. It was training every day, maybe some times two times a day.

“It was difficult to think, to have time for us. But now I know I improved a lot with him and he helped me to improve.”

He also recognises the influence Bielsa has had on his current boss Pep Guardiola.

“They are maybe two best managers in the world,” he added. “Different managers, but they know everything about football.”

He also paid tribute to former City defender Vincent Kompany for helping him settle  when he first arrived at City.

“Vincent is a very good footballer and a very good person,” he said. “He is a top man and he helped all of us in the locker room.

“He was attentive of everything, helping in every session. In training he was a fighter - an example for everyone.”