Manchester City’s impressive recent form has seen them rise to fifth spot in the Premier League table, now just four points behind leaders Liverpool, with two games in hand on last year’s champions.
A depleted Citizens side showed their mettle at Stamford Bridge in the 3-1 win against Chelsea on Sunday afternoon with Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne starring for Pep Guardiola’s side.
However, the performance of Rodri should not go unnoticed, as the Spanish midfielder produced an excellent display which will reassure Manchester City fans that he is more than capable of stepping up to replace Fernandinho, with the 35-year-old seeming likely to leave the club this summer when his contract expires.
As per Squawka football, during the game against Frank Lampard’s side, Rodri enjoyed the most touches (108), the most successful passes, the most duels contested, the most recoveries and the most tackles of any player on the pitch, in what was a dominant all-round display.
The Spanish international has faced criticism at times since joining from Atletico Madrid in 2019, with former City star Micah Richards certainly not happy with his performance against Leicester earlier this season, saying:
“I’m not blaming it [the defeat] just on Rodri, there were loads of bad performances in there.
“But in the middle by himself, the way he turns, he doesn’t read danger like Fernandinho [does], and the back line gets exposed.”
Since that 5-2 defeat, however, City have shown themselves to have one of the best defences in the league, with the partnership of John Stones and Ruben Dias working wonders at the back, although Rodri’s influence on this upturn in form should not be forgotten.
The 24-year-old has averaged a solid 7.01 rating for his performances in the Premier League this season and whilst Richards might not believe that he reads the game in the same way Fernandinho does, he has averaged 1.1 interceptions and 1.7 tackles in his appearances in the top-flight this season, whereas the Brazilian has managed just 0.5 interceptions and 1 tackle per game on average.
The Spaniard is also still just 24-year-old, so there seems no reason why he can’t get better and achieve the same sort of status Fernandinho has achieved amongst the City faithful during his time with the club.
And, in other news… Guardiola can sign Mendy upgrade in PL beast with a taste for goals