With the 22 year old Spanish midfielder set to sign for Manchester City, let’s analyse the tenacious midfielder’s game and see why City are paying 70 million Euros for his services.
Rodri brings a strong physical presence to this City side which currently boasts one of the shortest sides in the Premier League. At 6’3 Rodri brings a much needed presence in aerial duals. As well as this, he has respectable strength and speed across the pitch. On average, Rodri won 65% of aerial duals this prior season. In comparison, Fernandinho only won 57% of aerial duals. Rodri’s aerial ability will be crucial to Guardiola’s side as it adds yet another dimension to their already significant arsenal.
With heavy comparison to Sergio Busquets, Rodri is very good with the ball at his feet often kick starting his side’s offensive phase. He completed 56.6 passes per game at 91.1% completion last season. In comparison, City’s current defensive midfielder had 63.2 passes per game with 87.7% completion. When you take into account Rodri was playing in a very defensive system, the stats read fantastically. While the midfielder only had 3 goals for the season, Fernandinho only managed one goal all year playing in a much more offensive system.
In defence, Rodri attempts to anticipate the opponent’s movements to stop the attack rather than tackle. However, he completed 2.6 tackles per game and 1.2 intercepts. In comparison, Fernandinho had 1.7 tackles per game and 1.6 intercepts. Once again, respectable figures.
The aforementioned statistics demonstrate Rodri’s key strengths such as aerial ability and passing. However, the midfielder doesn’t boast any significant weaknesses which bodes well for Manchester City. With the midfielder set to sign for 70 million Euros, I believe he is a phenomenal replacement for the ageing Fernandinho and could become one of the world’s finest holding midfielders under Guardiola. A great signing for the Premier League champions.