Aymeric Laporte left Manchester City in August 2013 after more than 100 matches for the club, and a sackful of trophies.
The defender would likely have played more for Pep Guardiola’s side had he not faced repeated fitness problems. He accepts it was inevitable the club would look beyond him due to that, especially after bringing in expensive defensive recruits.
Laporte has given a long interview to AS, and whilst parts of his chat with the Spanish newspaper were about Manchester City and his time with Guardiola, the main theme is related to his Saudi Arabia move and things not being as he expected.
One of many players who moved to Saudi football last year, Laporte makes no effort to hide that he did so for the money and not the football.
After signing for Al-Nassr, Laporte has been disappointed, quoted by AS as saying: “It’s a big change compared to Europe, but in the end it’s all adaptation. They haven’t made it easy for us. In fact, there are many players who are dissatisfied, but hey; We are working on it every day, negotiating so to speak, and to see if it improves a little because this is something new for them too, having European players who already have a long career. Maybe they are not used to this and have to adapt to a little more seriousness.”
Asked if he wants to leave already, Laporte said that’s not the case right now but could be in the future.
AS then wanted to know if these problems are talked about in the dressing room, and he said: “To be honest, many of us have also come here not only for football. Many of us are happy with that, but I am also looking for something beyond that is not the economic part and such. In terms of quality of life, I expected something different because in the end here you spend three hours a day in the car. Riyadh is a waste of traffic, of time wasted in the car.”
Given everything at Manchester City will have been the height of professionalism, the difference will probably be more apparent to Laporte than most.
AS say there’s ‘a lack of seriousness, broken promises, sloppiness’, in Riyadh’s ‘jungle of asphalt, sand and dust’.
At least Laporte is honest about going and staying for the money, unlike another footballer in the news at the moment.