Kompany doesn’t look answer to Barcelona’s need for a centre back
Fernando Torres was only on the pitch for 25 minutes in Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City, but in this relatively short period he did more than enough to highlight why Barcelona may be best served not chasing Vincent Kompany this summer.
Within 20 seconds of coming on, Torres just being in the vicinity of Kompany had an impact on the Belgian defender missing a header from which Demba Ba scored.
Not long later Torres was a whisker away from latching onto a lofted through ball over Kompany from Juan Mata and it was only a slight stuttered step that arguably prevented him from bringing it under control.
Then in the dying minutes came the controversial decision and one that it was no surprise Kompany thought was great defending and Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez thought was a clear penalty.
Kompany was again uncomfortable with a ball over the top, this time Torres did get on the end of it and just as he was about to shoot, he was pulled down by the recovering defender with more than a slight hold of the shirt.
The challenge was almost certainly on a par with that in Arsenal’s game with Norwich, which saw a spot-kick given for a shirt tug on Olivier Giroud.
Kompany’s form has been of a lesser standard this season compared to when Man City won the Premier League title in the last campaign and it is in the areas of reading of the game and defending higher up the pitch where he appears to have had greater problems.
He showed against Chelsea that he remains arguably the best in the division when defending the penalty box in terms of making blocks, tackles and important headers.
This is what is potentially tempting Barcelona to make a summer bid, with some speculation indicating that they are preparing to table a £40m offer.
However, given that Barcelona’s game is built around pressing in high areas, the defenders tend to keep a high line to prevent the gap getting too big between themselves and the midfield.
Given that if Kompany has limitations then it appears to be when defending too high up the pitch, there is little to suggest he will suit the Barcelona style, especially as there are also defenders with better distribution.
Man City are 7/4 to win the Premier League next season and getting Kompany back to the level of the last campaign and Sergio Aguero back regularly scoring goals could be the two areas that may be most needed to reverse places with Manchester United.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date