Rodri: New lungs for Manchester City

Rodri: New lungs for Manchester City

Manchester City have broken their own transfer record by splurging £62 million on a Rodri to bolster Pep Guardiola’s side. The 23-year-old Spaniard was linked to City since the beginning of the year. His signing signifies Guardiola’s preparation for the upcoming season to keep them competing at the top and as the long term replacement for his midfield general Fernandinho.

Interesting enough, it was Atletico team mate Saul Niguez who was on transfer rumors and City’s radar previously but Guardiola sealed the deal with Rodri.

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Rodri comes from Atletico Madrid, a club with whom he’s had a complicated relationship with.

They re-signed him last season from Villareal, the club that he joined after getting released by Atletico in 2013 due to his physical abilities. However, he is no longer under-sized as he stands at 1.9m (6′ 3) and towers over most of his teammates. His stature was not the sole reason that Guardiola signed him.

Rodri has been earmarked as Fernandinho’s heir to their midfield pivot role. After seven seasons in La Liga, he has been likened to his compatriot, Sergio Busquets, due to his composure on the ball and ability to make incisive passes. He had a pass completion rate of 91%, the second highest in the Atletico Madrid team.

He not only facilitates the attack but enhances their defence as well. Last season, he made the most tackles of any outfield player in La Liga, demonstrating his defensive prowess. But while Rodri may seem like he can do everything, his performance in front of goal is negligible. He only tallied a career total of seven. Regardless, his influence on the pitch does not translate to goals but rather, creating them.

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Rodri and Busquets competing

The City manager wants his team to gain even more control of the game and with this Busquets-esque player in the side, he can do exactly just that. The former Spain National Team manager Vincente Del Bosque once said about Busquets, “You watch the game, you don’t see Busquets. You watch Busquets, you see the whole game,” and Rodri certainly has the potential to emulate the veteran Barcelona midfielder.

Now with Rodri at the Etihad, Pep looks like he could create a team similar to the one he had at Barcelona and establish arguably one of the best teams of the century – again.

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