Manchester City have spent a club-record $79 million to buy Rodri from Atletico Madrid.
The Spanish defensive midfielder, 23, has officially arrived at City after Atleti confirmed on Wednesday that the reigning Premier League champions had paid his release clause.
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Rodri has signed a five-year contract and is the long-term replacement for City’s midfield lynchpin Fernandinho. The former Villarreal star is seen as one of the top holding midfielders in the world, with his exceptional passing, interceptions and tackling ability key to his game.
Speaking about his arrival at City, Rodri is looking forward to working with Pep Guardiola as they go for a PL three-peat.
“What City have achieved in the last two years has been amazing and I’m looking forward to being part of such a talented squad,” Rodri said. “It’s not just the titles they have won, but the way they have managed it, playing attacking football at all times. I can’t wait to start working with Pep Guardiola and my new team-mates and hopefully we can achieve great things together. It’s a style that excites me, as do the Club’s ambitions.”
Rodri only joined Atletico from Villarreal last summer for $25 million, so the La Liga side have done pretty well out of this deal.
City have gone about their business very quietly this summer, and this was a key area they needed to address.
When Fernandinho was out injured last season they badly missed his presence in midfield as the likes of Fabian Delph, Ilkay Gundogan and David Silva struggled to hold down the defensive midfield role.
Rodri’s passing ability is undoubted and the lanky midfielder is very much the heir apparent to Sergio Busquets as the best defensive midfielder around.
With City signing former left back Angelino after his impressive season at PSV Eindhoven, they have already addressed their top two needs in the transfer market. Right back Joao Cancelo could also join from Juventus, as City’s attacking depth is clear for all to see, although Sergio Aguero can’t go on forever and another option up top aside from Gabriel Jesus may be handy.
50/90 – Rodri was one of just three players from Europe's top five leagues in 2018-19 to make at least 50 successful tackles while completing over 90 percent of their passes, alongside Marcelo Brozović and Thiago Alcântara. Foundation. pic.twitter.com/Zjyh7ZCF9O
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 4, 2019
If Guardiola’s side can add another center back this summer then they should be pretty much set for the new season as they aim to go one better than winning three trophies and complete the quadruple they wanted to badly last season.
Rodri will be a key piece in Guardiola’s jigsaw for many years to come.