Pep Guardiola claims Manchester City's recent injury problems will not persuade the Premier League champion to enter the January transfer market.
Rodri (hamstring) and Oleksandr Zinchenko (knee) this week joined long-term knee injury victims Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane on the sidelines. Expected recoveries the other side of November's international break mean both defensive midfielder Rodri and left-back Zinchenko will miss the crunch trip to Liverpool in a fortnight's time.
Left-winger Sane and centre-back Laporte are not due back in action until the new year, with the latter's absence having been particularly keenly felt after City opted not to bring in a specialist replacement for outgoing captain Vincent Kompany during the close season.
It meant Rodri and fellow midfielder Fernandinho starting their past two matches in the heart of defence as John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi built fitness following respective hamstring and back problems.
Despite speculation linking City to the likes of Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly and Benfica's Ruben Dias, Guardiola believes any significant incomings at the Etihad Stadium are unlikely once the window opens.
"After the international break – November, December, January, February – yeah, I am a little bit concerned because in a few positions we do not have enough players," he told reporters ahead of Saturday's Premier League match at home to Aston Villa.
"[But] in the January window I do not think we are going to buy. The club did not introduce me to players they thought could help us.
"Without that, it is not going to happen. The players we need are not just for six months, it is for a long time. And I think the important players will not be sold. We are going to stay all the season, I think, with the players that we have right now."
Knee operations in each of the past two seasons left Benjamin Mendy sidelined and gave Zinchenko – a midfielder by trade – a chance to establish himself in Guardiola's plans at left-back. After Zinchenko's surgery to "clean the knee", as Guardiola put it, the roles are now reversed, with France international Mendy having a chance to put a run of games together.
There was plenty of promise in his all-action efforts in wins over Crystal Palace and Atalanta over the past week, but Guardiola is remaining understandably cautious. Mendy spent the opening weeks of this season concluding his most recent round of knee rehabilitation, while a hamstring strain earlier this month checked his progress.
"We have Angelino, Joao [Cancelo] can play there too. We have other options," Guardiola said when discussing the full-back.
"[Mendy] played 90 minutes against Crystal Palace and then three days played another 75 in an incredibly demanding game against Atalanta. And he's not injured. I think [his form is] coming. If he can play regularly for months – games, games, games, games – he will get his best level."
"Still he is not at the level we believe [he can be] but that's normal after two seasons out. He needs time. Hopefully he can [stay] fit. If he is fit, training every day, it is going to happen. Hopefully he cannot be stopped."
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