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One Manchester City player is “absolutely fundamental” to Pep Guardiola’s team, insists club chairman

One Manchester City player is “absolutely fundamental” to Pep Guardiola’s team, insists club chairman
One Manchester City player is “absolutely fundamental” to Pep Guardiola’s team, insists club chairman

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has insisted that defensive midfield star Rodrigo is “absolutely fundamental” to the way the first-team squad operates.

The Spaniard has been a mainstay in the Premier League champions’ for the last five seasons, having first joined the club in a big-money summer switch from Atletico Madrid in the transfer market of 2019.

Responsibilities at the Etihad Stadium came with exceptionally high expectations and standards during the market in which Rodri arrived, as the highly-rated Madrid graduate was tasked with succeeding the legendary Fernandinho in sky blue.

Particularly in the last two seasons, Rodri has also taken up minor responsibilities in the goalscoring department, having registered history-defining moments in several matches, but most notably through the winning goal in the 2023 UEFA Champions League final against Inter.

It is that step up in match-defining moments and midfield dominance across the game that has seen Rodri become recognised as one of the finest names in his field, with the latest to praise his output being Manchester City’s own chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.

“The level of standard of excellence is extraordinary,” Al Mubarak said during his annual end-of-season interview with ManCity.com, speaking off the back of yet another English top-flight success – City’s fourth in succession.

“He is extraordinary! The position he plays is not a glamorous position but he is absolutely fundamental to this team and one of the most critical reasons why we continue to win and succeed and achieve what we are achieving.”

There have been tenuous claims in the sporting media over the last few weeks and months that Rodri could ultimately attract transfer interest from his native Spain, particularly as Real Madrid look to further strengthen their midfield in light of anticipated exits.

Toni Kroos’ departure at the end of his existing contract is likely to be deemed as a role in need to investment in the coming months, while Luka Modric could yet leave the Santiago Bernabeu side within the next two seasons.

However, it remains highly unlikely that Manchester City would entertain any such offers for Rodri in his immediate future, and Etihad Stadium bosses are likely to eye a contract renewal for the player as a reward for his output in the last few seasons.

A defensive midfielder could still arrive at the Etihad this summer however, as officials within the Premier League champions’ recruitment team look to identify a more capable back-up to Rodrigo than the previous attempt in Kalvin Phillips.