On Thursday, Manchester City completed the £62.8million club-record signing of Spanish midfielder Rodri from Spanish club Atletico Madrid.
The deal had long been mooted in the press and City have now finally got their man, known as ‘the new Sergio Busquets’. The comparison with the Barcelona icon may be slightly premature, but the midfielder is certainly a big prospect.
Fernandinho a tough act to follow
Brazilian defensive midfielder Fernandinho has become one of the most crucial players in the City team during Pep Guardiola’s reign as Citizens boss. Prior to the Catalan’s arrival, he was not rated as highly.
However, the veteran star has proven the perfect defensive midfielder for Guardiola’s style of play. His absence from games through injury last season nearly cost City the title.
The 34-year-old is coming to the end of his career though and will be tough to replace. In fact, the Citizens have had trouble finding an alternative to the Brazilian. It looks as if they have now found their man.
A good replacement for the Brazilian
Rodri will initially come into the City squad as an alternative to Fernandinho or a partner in tougher games possibly. The 23-year-old was one of the best performing players in his position last season in La Liga.
No player won more tackles in the Spanish top-flight while finishing second in the rankings in the Spanish top-flight for possession won.
However, the midfielder is much more than just a midfield destroyer, he had a passing accuracy of 91.1%. He is a player who can win possession and distribute it quickly and effectively, which could be key to him being successful at City.
A key player
While the signing of defensive midfielders are not usually greeted with fanfare, Rodri’s hasn’t either, the Spaniard could be a key player for the Citizens for the next decade.
The style that Guardiola wants to play means that the teams defensive midfielder is key. All the signs suggest that Rodri can fulfil that role with ease and that could be bad news for the Citizens rivals in the Premier League.
Is Rodri a good signing for Manchester City?