Pep Guardiola has a decision to make over Man City’s most important player

Pep Guardiola has a decision to make over Man City's most important player

Manchester City boast plenty of world-class stars but Rodri is arguably the irreplaceable cog in Pep Guardiola’s machine

When Rodri was named Manchester City’s Player of the Month for August, it came as little surprise.

The Spaniard has had a fantastic start to the season, demonstrating that his goal against Istanbul was a portent of things to come. The Spaniard recently scored the winning goal in the Champions League final to help City win the biggest trophy in European club football. He has now matched his goal total from last season thanks to two goals in his first three Premier League outings.

Despite having a difficult time adjusting during his first season at the Etihad, the midfielder is now perhaps the most crucial member of Pep Guardiola’s squad. While City finds a way to function without the talented Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland, it’s uncertain whether Rodri could make the same claim.
When City won the Champions League last season, the former Atletico Madrid player was voted Player of the Tournament, underscoring his importance to the team as they won the most coveted award.

No other City player received greater attention from Guardiola than Rodri, who made 56 appearances for the team last year. That’s a staggering amount of games to play in a season, but Guardiola will have a fresh task this time around.
City will add more games to their already packed schedule because they will be competing in the Club World Cup in December.

Rodri traveled to Qatar with Spain for the mid-season 2022 World Cup, so there were fixtures added to his calendar last year as well. However, this season, with Spain expected to qualify for the 2024 European Championship, there will be roughly the same number of international games played, only they will take place at the end of the season rather than in the middle.

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All of this suggests that Rodri may play an unusual number of games this season, so Guardiola will need to be careful.

The City manager will need to use his head when deciding when to play his most crucial player if he wants him to perform at his peak when he needs him to. Rodri may have to watch on from the sidelines later on in the season when the Club World Cup is in full swing and City is obliged to squeeze in even more Premier League games after their break from domestic competition.

Not starting your most crucial player is always a danger, but if Rodri is to perform at his peak at the conclusion of the season, it might be a gamble worth taking.

The new PumaxCity shirt is ‘a bit distinctive’ in design, much like the city itself, and draws inspiration from Manchester’s industrial past. The city’s soaring mills, humming warehouses, and industrial landscape served as inspiration for the new away kit. The shirt’s all-over tonal graphic pattern gives it a distinctly throwback vibe.

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