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Will Manchester City dominate the season with Rodri’s signing?

With Rodrigo Hernandez Cascante coming to Manchester City at a hefty price, the Man City are once again set to dominate the new season. How will Rodri signing affect the Man City Squad with his deadly skills?

Last updated: 11.07.2019
Rodrigo Hernandez Cascante at Manchester city | Sports Social Blog

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After winning the Domestic treble, including the prestigious Premier League Trophy for two seasons in a row, it seems Manchester City are hungry as ever even in the off-season. At this point, reading between the lines indicates that they are not ready to forget their semi-final loss at the hands of Tottenham. The 4-4 loss on aggregate (match went to Man City 4-3) was legendary and almost unanimously considered the best game of the season. That was made all the more impressive considering the number of glorious upsets and comebacks that football fans witnessed in the season. 

Despite the loss, Man City held their heads high and went on the win the Premier League over eventual UCL winners, Liverpool. It seems that Manchester City’s trademark thirst for victory has made it’s way onto the transfer window. They activated the EU 70 million buyout clause and signed the 23 year old Spaniard, Rodrigo Hernandez Cascante (commonly referred to as Rodri) from Atletico Madrid to bolster their midfield. 


Skills and Stats:

Rodri was hugely influential in Atletico Madrid making it to the top 3 in the La Liga. Possessing fantastic vision, the way the defensive midfielder perceives the game and acts accordingly, helped Atletico do severe damage to other teams in the La Liga. A strong sense of focus and knowledge has helped him both attack and defend. With sublime passing and tackling precision under his belt, Rodri was surely on or near the top of every club’s bucket list for the transfer window. He even has quite a bit of pace that adds further credibility to his worth as a player. With clinical passing and tackles that are somehow highly aggressive and almost as clean, Rodri might prove to be a great steal despite the hefty price-tag.

The Spaniard does have the statistics to add to his credibility. He played 34 matches in the La Liga with Atletico Madrid. Despite playing as a defensive midfielder, he nabbed 3 goals and 1 assist. He dominated the aerial play, winning an average of 2.3 aerial battles over the course of the season. The averages of 3.1 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, and 2 clearances goes to show that Diego Godin and Gimenez (through certain games) weren’t the only ones doing the heavy lifting. He averaged 3.4 long balls per game with a passing average of 91.1 %. Looking at the skills and the sheer numbers, it is very hard to argue against the claim that Manchester City might have struck gold. 

Factoring in at Manchester City:

Manchester City are possibly the deadliest and most feared club in the world right now. They seem to exude a sense of invincibility. They won the league despite the absence of Kevin De Bruyne, arguably considered the club’s best player this season. They won the domestic treble and made it to the semi final of the UCL only to go out in the blaze of glory in the best match of the season. A lot of their players shone this season. Raheem Sterling was considered by many including the FWA to be the Footballer of the Year for his brilliant display of attacking football on the wing. Bernardo Silva’s stock went up tenfold after performing at a world-class level consistently. Laporte at the back line was one of the best defenders in the Premier League. Last but not least, Fernandinho was incredible in the 2018-19 season despite playing 29 matches. His passing and concentration helped Manchester City decimate the opposition. It is almost evident that Rodri was bought to replace Fernandinho though. Fernandinho was one of the best players in the 2018-19 PL but he is 34 years old. Even if he doesn’t retire, you cannot expect old blood to perform amazingly despite the current form. The 23 year old would be a fantastic addition in that regard. Both were among the Best DM’s in their respective leagues with a strong sense of how to pass to the right man and get the job done. Even if Fernandinho does play most matches, you could still do a lot of interesting combinations with Rodri. Rodri could link up with De Bruyne or Gundogan and be a reliable bridge between the front and the back. His stamina and pace would allow him to fall back and defend while the others provide cover or vise versa. He could be rotated with the aforementioned  Fernandinho or Gundogan or even Phil Foden both or play with either and allow Pep Guardiola to play a lot of formations. 

Manchester City will certainly expect a lot out of the youngster. After all, this is the squad that scored 100 points in a season and nearly went there again this past season. They won the domestic treble and they made it to the semi-finals of the UCL. With a goal difference of 72, no team other than Liverpool could even scratch at them. They will be looking to continue that reign over the seasons to come and possibly try to bring in the UCL along with every other championship in sight. The expectations are sky high and the Spaniard will have to do everything in his power to keep up.

There is also another minor challenge to be dealt with. That is the fact that Rodri is low on experience. Even though he played most of the matches in the previous season, he’s still 23. More importantly, he really found his footing in Atletico Madrid. ATM and Manchester City are polar opposites when it comes to playstyle. Atletico is the definition of a defense favouring side while Manchester City plays aggressive attacking football. While this may be advantageous and allow Guardiola to integrate different types of playstyles and experiment more in order to do damage to opponents, it might be difficult to acclimatize Rodri to not only Manchester City’s football but Premier League football in general. Being 22, having played only 6 international matches and never playing for a club outside of Spain so far, there are experience related challenges under the surface. Then again if there’s anyone you want to bring forth all your potential, there’s no better choice than the man who certainly had a part to play in originating Lionel Messi’s legacy as the best of the best. 

In conclusion, despite there being some minor doubts, all the facts seem to indicate that he will be a fine addition to the Cityzens and influence quite a few championships down the line. Looks to be a brilliant asset for a brilliant team.

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