Man City News & EPL News
It’s very rare that Manchester City goes out and breaks their transfer record to bring in a player, but Pep Guardiola felt that it needed to be done to bring Rodri to the Etihad Stadium from Atletico Madrid.
The money appears to have been well spent at this early stage of the season, but recent defeats against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Norwich City have failed to dampen the mood around the club, especially their new signing.
The $79 million fee to bring the holding midfielder to the club was a signing that needed to be made according to Guardiola over the summer.
The Citizens had become reliant on the ageing legs of Fernandinho in the middle of the park, and despite a strong showing last campaign, there needed to be a change.
The money that takes a player to a new club is often carried around like a burden, but to someone like Rodri, he claims that it isn’t such a big issue.
Talking exclusively to ESPN, he lifted the lid on his first few months in Manchester, and what he hopes to happen over the course of the season.
Speaking about making the move, he said: “The market is a bit crazy now. I don’t know what the value of players is. I am young. I have a lot of things to learn: I am only 23. The only thing I can say is that I will give everything to my team.
I am always a guy that wants to improve all the time, and I think I have a long career.”
He admitted that he didn’t feel the pressure on being the record signing either, as he continued: In modern football, my position is very important, and all the great teams have a great player there: clubs are looking for that kind of player.
We’re a very offensive team, and we need someone who does that other, defensive side of the game. I look back on my first matches, and I think, ‘OK, I have a lot of space to cover here.’ I have to be aware of other players going up the pitch, taking up [advanced] positions.
You’re the first to step in to steal the ball so that the team can keep attacking.”
One of the biggest factors that attracted Rodri to City, like many other players, was Guardiola. But, it would be especially important for the new holding midfielder as the manager also played in the same position.
“I was born when he was finishing, in 1996, so I don’t know about in previous years, but now in the midfield position in modern football, in the Premier League, you have to be aggressive,” he said.
“You have to be strong. You have to be good with the ball. You have to control. You have to be able to play all types of pass: long pass, short pass, inside, outside.”
Can Man City catch Liverpool?
But, the big question on the lips of Manchester City fans would be, can they catch Liverpool and retain their title for a record-equalling third time?
Rodri was realistic. He said: “They are strong, they have beaten everyone. We saw last year it was 98-97, so we know it will be like that. We have to take a step forward, keep going.
“Every team has bad moments, so we have to do everything we can do for that happens to Liverpool.”
The bookmakers have been concerned with recent injuries to City defenders and their form. That has seen them drift out to second-favourites to win the title, after beginning the season as the outright favourites.
There is still a long time to go, but now would be the best chance to get the best price on Rodri and his teammates winning the title.