The former defender thinks the Portuguese star has all the necessary qualities to inherit leadership duties at Etihad Stadium in the coming years
Ruben Dias is fast becoming a "real captaincy candidate" at Manchester City, according to Richard Dunne.
City spent £65 million ($90m) to bring Dias to Manchester from Benfica last summer, and the Portuguese justified the club's initial investment in his talent by playing a key role in their run to a fifth Premier League title.
Dias struck up a formidable partnership with John Stones at the back as Pep Guardiola's side finished with the best defensive record in the division, and Dunne believes he can reach even greater heights in the coming years.
The former City defender singled Dias out for special praise after the team's 4-0 pre-season friendly victory over Barnsley on Saturday, backing him to inherit the captain's armband at Etihad Stadium if he continues on his current trajectory.
“He’ll be looking to start the season well, continue to progress because as a centre back there was nobody near him last season,” Dunne told the club's official media channel.
“You’d imagine he’s settled in and feels more comfortable, so he can improve again. It’s very important he starts well and continues the form from last season.
“The other players will know him and understand what he’s good and what to expect, so let’s hope that continues. Although he’s still very young, he’s got that stature and aura about him. Looking ahead, I think he could be a real captaincy candidate going forward in the next few years.”
Dias racked up 50 appearances across all competitions in his debut campaign at City, scoring one goal.
The 24-year-old helped the Manchester outfit pick up their fourth successive Carabao Cup alongside their latest top-flight crown, and also scooped the end-of-season Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year and Premier League Player of the Year awards.
Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho has served as City's captain since the departure of Vincent Kompany at the end of the 2018-19 season. The 36-year-old penned a new one year deal in June, which will keep him at Etihad Stadium until next summer, but Dias could inherit the armband from his team-mate if his services are not retained beyond that.
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