Mens Team

Rodri's approach to defensive midfield role

ON THE BALL: Rodri in action against Wolves.
Rodri has provided an insight into his approach to the defensive-midfield position and how his style of play can benefit his team-mates.

The 23-year-old has started both of our pre-season games so far, as Manchester City fans got their first glimpse of the new man in action, with the Spaniard looking particularly assured against Wolves.

He continually made himself available to receive a pass, knitting defence and attack together with his intelligent use of the ball, though the midfielder has revealed he is keen to ensure he is equally effective without possession, to allow the array of attacking talent around him to thrive.

Describing his attributes, Rodri said: “Taking the ball and with one or two touches making the pass friendly for my team-mates.

“One other thing I think this team needs is someone to apply pressure, to steal balls, who knows where the ball is going to bounce because we have lots of great offensive players, but not too many defensive.

“[I must] be aware, be ready to steal the loose ball and keep attacking.”

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He did both against Wolves in Shangai.

Rui Patricio made a fine reflex save to deny the new signing, while at the other end he showed anticipation and strength in equal measure to dispossess the explosive Adama Traore as he moved through the gears and into the City box.

Never too far away from the centre-half pairing, Rodri often dropped deep to form a three-man back line and it’s a role he says he is more than comfortable fulfilling if required.

“I’ve played central (defence) a few times” he explained. “It’s not too different from midfield.

“It’s not my position but if the coach needs me to play there it will be fine. I need to adapt to all the situations, so I have to be ready for it.”

Having lined-up against two English clubs, Rodri has received an early insight into what he can expect as he prepares to ply his trade away from his native Spain for the first time.

He anticipates the Premier League will provide more physical encounters than La Liga, but eager to develop, he is keen to embrace and adjust to a new approach.

“I think Spanish football is more tactical,” he added.

“Players are more organised. Here in the Premier League it’s a bit more physical, with more running.

“Nowadays I don’t think there’s a big difference, but I have to adapt and for me it’s going to be a good challenge.”

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