After last weekend’s hopeless defensive display at Aston Villa, it has taken Mark Hughes less than seven days to bring in a fresh face to sure up the City rearguard, and Sparky has bagged himself a gem.
Vincent Kompany has long been regarded as one of the top defenders to emerge in Europe. To-date, the 22-year old’s playing career has seen him ply his talents for Anderlecht before he joined Bundesliga outfit Hamburg. However, sadly for HSV manager Martin Jol, much like the departure of Rafael van der Vaart, Vincent Kompany’s talents have caught the eye of the bigger European fish, and the Germans have been unable to hold onto yet another of their prized-assets.
Kompany, who had been linked to Chelsea previously, became available after recently becoming embroiled in a club-v-country row during the Olympic games. According to reports, Kompany had agreed to play only two games before returning to Hamburg, only to renege on his word and continue to play for his national team without the consent of his club. Such was the acrimony that Hamburg threatened the Belgian Football Association with legal action.
Under this backdrop, Mark Hughes has negotiated a swift transfer for an out-of-favour player which has the potential to take everyone by surprise.
Standing 6 feet and 3 inches tall, Kompany is a centre-back, also capable of playing in a holding midfield role, who enjoys playing football on the ground and bringing the ball out from defence. Kompany looks to have molded his game on the Lucio-model, able to play the no-nonsense game when necessary but in his element when able to steal the ball of the opposition’s forwards and quickly turn defence into attack. Luckily, Kompany has the ball-skills to be trusted with such showmanship at the back.
Yet, if there is a drawback on Kompany’s signature it is the fear that the Belgium is far too injury prone. For a player who is reasonably early into his career, he has had already suffered from some serious injuries, with Kompany missing the majority of the 2006/07 season with a damaged left foot and then an injured shoulder. All signs point to the fact that Kompany is now fully recovered, yet his fragile history remains a cause for concern.
The other question-mark against Kompany is his temperament. Last season, in only 22 matches with Hamburg the defender picked up two red-cards.
Video evidence of Vincent Kompany can be seen here.