Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has been an exemplary captain during his tenure with the current league champions. But does he still have much left in the tank?
Solid and intelligent in his centre-back role, Kompany has amassed plaudits since signing for City in 2008. Listed three times in the Premier League’s Team of the Year (2011, 2012, 2014) as well as winning the Player of the Season in 2012, his work hasn’t gone unnoticed.
This season though, Kompany has only featured in 14 matches, his last as captain in City’s victorious clash against an in-form Liverpool side.
That was only his third game since the start of November as recurring injuries continue to hinder his consistency.
Despite that, Kompany rarely fails to make his impact felt on the field. City coach Pep Guardiola told the BBC of his future: “He’s important, he is our captain and on the field he gives us extra that few central defenders around the world can give us.”
In over 10 years at the club, Kompany has turned out 347 times across all competitions, earning the captaincy in the 2011-12 season and subsequently leading the Sky Blues to the title.
Known for his decisiveness in tackles and tactical and positional awareness, Kompany was long regarded as one of the best defenders in the world.
More recently though Guardiola has been shuffling between Nicolás Otamendi, Aymeric Laporte and John Stones. With his contract running out at the end of this season, a move seems very possible, but where could Kompany go if his time at the Etihad comes to an end?
Juventus are the undisputed kings of calcio, at least this decade. Their centre-back pairing switches between young star Daniele Rugani, stalwart Leonardo Bonucci and captain Giorgio Chiellini.
Despite their established defence, Chiellini has made his intentions clear that he will retire in two years. That was at the beginning of this season. So, as of the end of the 2019/20 season, a space for another experienced centre-back will have opened up.
Kompany is a modest player and talks of a move have been limited. However, if a big move is to be on the cards, this might be the most ideal one.
The pace of Italian football and its strong defensive heritage, which is very much present in the Juventus backline, could suit the Belgian. An ageing Andrea Barzagli and the recent departure of Medhi Benatia to Qatari side Al-Duhail means that the Turin giants will be in the market for someone with Kompany’s attributes soon.
Realistic: Inter Milan
After conceding only 15 goals in 21 league matches, Inter Milan’s defence isn’t their priority, rather that comes at the other end where a lack of goals is becoming an issue.
At the back though, Inter do lack experience and a season or two with Kompany in the blend could provide their young centre-backs with a valuable insight into the game.
As recently as October, Talksport reported that he is a target of the club and that they are willing to pay a hefty wage packet if he’s available on free transfer.
Under new ownership, Inter Milan are expected to be challenging for domestic silverware but have thus far looked miles behind league leaders Juventus.
Maybe fellow Belgian international Radja Nainggolan will be the one to tempt Kompany to the San Siro?
Although Kompany has won almost everything there is to win with City, he’s still not played for Barcelona and in world football, that itself is a badge of honour.
The Catalan side are looking to bring in a centre-back to back up Clement Lenglet, Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti in January but could be willing to wait if it means capturing a player of Kompany’s calibre on a free.
At the beginning of this month, Fox Sports claimed that Barcelona were looking to make a move for the City captain.
In his testimonial year at City, Kompany could still further refine his game with a stint in La Liga and, without the pressures of weekly first-team football, could thrive in such an environment.
Squawka suggests: Staying at City… with a twist
All of the above suggestions would likely only lay the path for this move anyway. With his ability to speak up to seven languages and his experience as captain, a coaching role at City makes perfect sense.
It seems that Guardiola has been hinting at this already, recently stating, “He is very special in many ways, in personality and in what he has done on and off the pitch.
“He can speak five, six, seven languages and he communicates quite well and we need him. People who represent us are important.
“What they have done in the past for the new players and the new generations, we can say ‘this guy helped us to build the club that we are and what we’re trying to build bigger or higher’,” he told the BBC.
It’s clear that he has a strong relationship with his coach and Guardiola’s path into management started out similarly. The Spaniard spent over a decade at Barcelona before eventually moving back there and into a coaching role. It seems that Kompany may well go the same way.
It’s definitely a move that would go down well with City fans.