The Sky Blues backline seemed leaky and unreliable last season but has stabilized ever since the arrival of the Portuguese central defender.
Pep Guardiola is reluctant to compare Ruben Dias with Vincent Kompany despite being confident that the former can provide ‘big moments’ for Manchester City.
A 1-0 result against Southampton on Saturday saw Man City record their seventh clean sheets from the last eight games across all competitions.
They also boast the best defensive record in the league having conceded fewer goals than any other team so far – 12.
Only in 2017-18 and 2018-19 – their title-winning seasons – have the Sky Blues conceded fewer goals and kept more clean sheets at this stage of the season under Guardiola.
Much of that defensive record can be attributed to Dias, whose commanding presence, comfort on the ball, and tactical awareness have quickly helped him become a key player for City.
The 23-year-old Portuguese who joined the team over the summer on a €68 million transfer from Benfica has vastly impressed in his young career at the Etihad so far.
“He’s always focussed. He’s able to lead the line, the same with John,” he said, via the club’s official website. “That’s why our club bought an exceptional player, especially for his personality. You have to build something from them.
“Vincent is irreplaceable – he was 10 years here. When I met him he was maybe 31 years old and Ruben is 22 or 23.
“It’s important to buy players who can help you for many years and we are pretty sure he is going to give us big moments.”