Rodri believes he will add physical presence and attacking threat to the Manchester City team and cannot wait for the season to start. Despite winning a domestic treble last season, City still felt the need to recruit over the summer, spending a club record £62.8million to sign the Spain midfielder from Atletico Madrid.
Identified primarily for his defensive qualities, Rodri was seen by manager Pep Guardiola as the ideal cover, and long-term replacement, for midfield anchor Fernandinho and, at 6ft 3in, he also brings something different. “I think he has lots of talented players but maybe one of the things the team can get is more physical,” said Rodri during the club’s pre-season tour of Asia.
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“We have lots of players that are great or small and you never know if it’s good or bad, but having a mix of players is always good. “Football is changing now. It’s getting more physical. It’s good for me to have that physique in the position I play. “I noticed years ago that I had to become both a defensive and an attacking player if I wanted to be good enough to be in Manchester.”
For all the talk of physicality, Rodri hopes to make his mark without much tackling. “I’m not used to tackles,” he added. “It’s the way you learn. I steal the ball in another way. “I see other players always go down or tackle but I’m very big. If I go to ground I waste a lot of time before I can go again, so I have another way to steal balls.”