Pep Guardiola has taken over Manchester City and his Spanish influence is already clear to see.
The former Barcelona boss, who won the Champions League twice with the Catalans, is setting out on his first job in the Premier League with the aim of turning City into the most dominant force in the division.
Already this season, we’ve seen City keep possession like any Guardiola team would and sign a number of players who fit his philosophy. The Etihad outfit have signed Nolito and will more than likely bring in Claudio Bravo from La Liga, whilst players like John Stones and Ilkay Gundogan both share the same determination to keep the ball as their manager.
Pep, undoubtedly, helped influence the Spanish game to become what it is today and so will surely look to his home country for more potential summer signings as he goes about transforming the Citizens.
We at Football FanCast have taken a look ourselves and think these FIVE players from La Liga would be very suitable…
Guardiola likes to transform full-backs into central midfielders and evidently sees the two positions as closely related. At Bayern he did it with Philipp Lahm and Joshua Kimmich and looks to be doing it at City now too – which is where De Marcos comes in.
The Bilbao man is already adept at playing both positions well, so he would immediately get what Guardiola is trying to do. It also helps he’s a pretty handy player on the ball.
Real Madrid have one of the strongest pair of right-backs in world football. Both Danilo and Dani Carvajal are top drawer but unfortunately for them, two into one just doesn’t go.
City should be on the lookout for a new right back with both Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta ageing. The former Porto man would be a worthy successor who suits the Guardiola style.
Rakitic is a world class player and would get into any team around the globe. He has, however, felt obliged to go on record to dismiss speculation regarding him leaving Barcelona after the club signed Andre Gomes from Valencia.
If Gomes does somehow take the Croatian’s spot, a player of Rakitic’s talent won’t stick around for long – so City might be tempted to make a bid now.
The Argentine defender has been part of the Sevilla side since 2014 and knows exactly what it means to play from the back – something Guardiola is a massive advocate of.
City’s centre-half positions could still be strengthened despite the John Stones transfer because of Vincent Kompany’s fitness concerns and Pareja would bring some solid experience to their back-line.
It’s not just the right side of defence City need strengthening – the left side needs some work too. Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov are decent but there are better options out there and Gaya is on his way to being one of them.
He’s been at Valencia since 2012 but it’s during the last two seasons in which he’s really impressed. At 21, Guardiola has plenty of time to mould him into a great player and with Valencia’s ongoing financial issues, a bid could be accepted.