What would Josko Gvardiol bring to Manchester City?
A summer transfer from RB Leipzig is looking increasingly likely, with Sky Germany‘s Philipp Hinze and Alexander Bonengel reporting that City have made an offer of €90 million plus bonuses, having already reached a verbal agreement with the player.
But what type of player are City potentially buying?
Gvardiol is a elite defender, especially given his age. He tends to play on the left side of defense, and can slot in at left back. Being left footed is a weapon also in Gvardiol’s game.
The Croatian defender excels in one on one situations. He’s calm when under pressure, and extremely athletic. This makes Gvardiol almost the complete package.
Gvardiol Vs Brazil World Cup 2022 pic.twitter.com/VhQofVwcdv
— 𝐄𝐑 (@ErlingRoIe) June 24, 2023
In defensive situations Gvardiol has the ability to press the ball quickly and decisively. He reads the danger early and reacts to it extremely quickly – a pre requisite for the modern defender, especially one in a Pep Guardiola system.
His ability to read the ball early and react leads him to make the correct challenge, and more often than not sets up for his elite passing ability. His ability to turn defense into attack is a skill that should thrive at Manchester City under Guardiola.
For a center back, Gvardiol possesses elite passing ability. He has been a attacking weapon for RB Leipzig, even though he’s a defender.
His ability to pick a pass, be it a simple pass, a line breaking pass or a long ball is rare in a defender. It’s that ability that makes Gvardiol such a rare talent.
Gvardiol’s passing is a ceiling-raiser. You’re not getting just the simple switches of play, you’re getting line-breaking passes that don’t just contribute to build-up, but also create goalscoring chances. pic.twitter.com/KZcHVLcZHQ
— Near Post (@_TheNearPost) June 25, 2023
Pep Guardiola no doubt has identified the ball playing ability of Gvardiol as a potential weapon for Manchester City. A player with that ability, especially in defence gives City a different look and a different weapon when in possession.
It is food for thought that Guardiola could possibly deploy Gvardiol in a similar role to John Stones. Gvardiol has the game for it, but it will take time to develop in that area.
With the talent that is evident in Gvardiol’s game, the thought of him potentially arriving at Manchester City is a tantalising one.