Manchester City’s Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol is becoming a valuable piece of Pep Guardiola’s puzzle. His performances have gone under the radar during City’s 7 game winning run but that doesn’t make them any less important.
Playing at left-back the Croatian defender has gone about making the position his own of late. With Nathan Ake moved into the centre of defence a spot at left-back has been there for the taking. Gvardiol has gone about making it his own. While he isn’t perfect and has parts of his game to work on his value to Pep Guardiola’s side is clear to see.
Against Tottenham the value of Gvardiol when City had possession was apparent. The Croatian international has the technical ability to be a crucial piece for the champions. He demonstrated this as Pep Guardiola’s side dominated Tottenham in their 1-nil win. His ability to keep possession and take up dangerous positions in City’s build-up play is slowly developing as he adjusts to the demands of playing for Pep Guardiola.
He is by no means the finished product just yet. A poor cross in the first half demonstrated this. But as he plays more in the role the rest of his game will develop. The quality of Gvardiol was always evident when he played for RB Leipzig and Croatia. It is beginning to show now at Manchester City.
There has been discussion that the Croatian defender has been played out of position for the European champions. But the versatility of Gvardiol means he can fill a variety of roles for Pep Guardiola. It’s this trait that is a prerequisite to play for City and Gvardiol has it which is to his benefit.
While he isn’t the finished product, Josko Gvardiol has made the left-back spot his own in recent weeks. Given his scope for improvement as he develops his game it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him take his game to the next level as the season progresses.