Eliaquim Mangala is receiving private after-hours lessons from team-mate Bacary Sagna on how to defend properly.
The Frenchman is the most expensive defender in British football after completing a £32 million move from Porto to Manchester City last season, but has failed to live up to the price tag thus far.
Mangala was highly rated before his transfer to the English Premier League but has been dogged by a string of errors, and his club have suffered when captain Vincent Kompany has been out injured.
In the eight Premier League games that Kompany has started this season, City have conceded just one goal, and even that was the result of an uncharacteristic error by the goalkeeper Joe Hart against Norwich City. In the games Kompany has missed, the opposition have scored 19.
And with many now looking for Mangala to step up and prove his worth, right-back Sagna is going above and beyond to help his mate out.
Ahead of tonight’s match away to Leicester City, he said via The Telegraph:
“I stay with him after training, to work on his position and control of the ball and he’s doing quite a lot to make a difference.
“He wants to get better. He doesn’t ask me, but I want to help him.
“No matter what we try to communicate, even after games, we try to analyse when we concede goals what he should have done a bit better, what I should have done a bit better.
“He’s going to be a great defender one day. Now we just have to be patient.
“Most of the time you forget he only came last season to this league.
“This league is difficult, especially when you come from abroad you need time to adapt. I think he is doing quite well.”
It’ll be interesting to see if Mangala is chosen to start in tonight’s crunch Premier League match, with Leicester still flying high in the table, and Kompany facing several weeks on the sidelines.