The impact of Josko Gvardiol since arriving at Manchester City cannot be overlooked since he arrived at the treble winners. The Croatian international put in another fantastic display in City’s 2-1 win over Brighton. It continued the fine start to his City career since arriving from RB Leipzig in the summer.
Against Brighton, Gvardiol lined up primarily as a left back. Such is the fluidity of Pep Guardiola’s system the Croatian defender was all over the pitch when City had possession. He was an integral part of Manchester City’s dominance in the first half with his ability to retain possession.
According to Sofascore, the City defender completed 66/73 passes he attempted during the game. That statistic highlights just how well Gvardiol has slotted into the Pep Guardiola system. With possession being key for City Gvardiol’s ability with the ball is slowly being unlocked more with every appearance he makes for the European champions.
Defensively the Croatian defender was exceptionally solid. He won all 4 of his ground duels as tracked by Sofascore. Brighton had no joy down their right-hand side thanks in part to Gvardiol’s strong display. He was just as strong defensively as he was in possession in a well-rounded display.
With Aymeric Laporte leaving the European champions after Gvardiol’s arrival the former RB Leipzig man has made Laporte’s squad position his own. He has taken that a step further by usurping Nathan Ake for the left-back position. Ake was tremendous throughout last season’s campaign but Gvardiol has gone about establishing himself in the starting eleven.
Jeremy Doku will get the headlines for his electrifying performance against Brighton. But Gvardiol’s performance on the back felt just as influential as the game wore on.