Manchester City summer signing Rodri has today opened up on his time in England thus far, discussing the Citizens’ title rivals Liverpool, and the demands of playing as a holding midfielder in a Pep Guardiola-led side.
Spanish international Rodri made the move to the Etihad during the summer transfer window, after Premier League champions City agreed to activate his €70 million Atletico Madrid release clause.
The midfielder was widely-viewed as the ideal long-term replacement for Fernandinho in the Citizens’ midfield, with Rodri combining poise, drive and ability on the ball, packaged in a 6ft 3 inch frame.
He has since gone on to play a key role in the fortunes of the Manchester giants over the early months of the new season, starting in 7 of the club’s 8 Premier League outings to this point.
And, though City have disappointed in dropping 8 points already, Rodri has, for the most-part, gone about his business in solid fashion.
‘Liverpool are the best team in Europe’
As such, speaking in an interview with ESPN earlier today, the former Villarreal star opened up on his start to life in England, providing an interesting insight into the challenges that he has faced as City’s new midfield lynchpin:
‘I think it’s a big challenge for me because I never used to play this position particularly. I didn’t have this exact role in the team.’
‘We have lots of offensive players and many other teams try to counterattack you and a lot of the time you’re alone but it’s good for me.’
‘I am learning new things, how to go, when to stay, when I have to do a tactical foul, when I have to jump. It’s good for me to learn these things. And for the team it’s good because we need those offensive players to be able to play our game.’
Rodri was also drawn on his side’s Premier League title rivals Liverpool, with the 23-year-old fully of the opinion that the Merseysiders, and not Manchester United, are now the ‘team to beat’ for City:
‘I don’t know, I had never been in the city before, I don’t know how people in the city feel.’
‘But the team to beat is Liverpool now and that has been seen the last two seasons. They are the champions of Europe so everyone wants to beat them, not just us.’
‘They’re a great team, they have improved a lot of things, they’re a very good team, and they’re the best team in England and in Europe.’