By 90Min
July 27, 2019

The squad depth that exists in the Manchester City squad borders on ridiculous, with brilliant players like Leroy Sane frequently having to sit and watch games from the bench.

However, there was one area that appeared to show some weakness last season, but such is the quality of City's scouting network, it was sorted almost immediately. 

The arrival of Rodri from Atletico Madrid is undoubtedly the bargain of the summer, and the 23-year-old may prove to be the final piece of the puzzle to help City win an unprecedented quadruple. 

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How many transfer success stories have City had in recent years? Raheem Sterling, Aymeric Laporte, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Leroy Sane, the list goes on. And now, Rodri. 

Atletico Madrid certainly know how to produce a central midfielder and Rodri is another success story for Los Rojiblancos. The Spaniard was released from their academy before returning in a dream move. 

The midfield general has been nicknamed 'the fire extinguisher', but City's new £62.6m signing is much, much more than that.

Rodri is seen as the heir to Fernandinho's throne, with the Brazilian reaching the twilight years of his career. The 34-year-old was an irreplaceable cog in the City machine last season - and has been for many seasons.

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To give you an idea - in 2018/19, Fernandinho missed six Premier League games, and City lost two of those. However, in the 29 games he did play, City lost the same amount. Influential. 

Enter Rodri. The 23-year-old is just the man to break up play whilst also playing the intricate Pep Guardiola way. The Spaniard was the only midfielder to make more than 100 tackles in La Liga last season. That's astonishing, considering the roles of players like Casemiro and Sergio Busquets.

But it doesn't end there. He also recovered the ball on 600 occasions over the course of the past two seasons. Yikes. 

One of the best traits about the 23-year-old is his mental toughness. He was released by Atletico at the age of 16 for being too small. However, he showed faith in his ability and after a spell with Villarreal, he returned to Madrid - and absolutely shone. He now stands at 6'2 and commands a real presence. 

One of the many things he developed on his turbulent journey to the top were his leadership skills. The ability to lead by example is something that will bring the Citizens even greater success over the coming months and years. 

When speaking upon his arrival at the Shangri-La hotel with City for pre-season, he reiterated that he intends to be the leader in the team. At that point, he had only recently signed - the player exudes confidence and will not shy away from responsibility.

Former captain Vincent Kompany has left the club, meaning the next leader must step up. The obvious candidate is David Silva, but he lacks a commanding presence on the pitch to rally the team when needed. Instead, City have gone out and bought themselves an incredible talent, and a leader for many years to come. 

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Perhaps the scariest thought if you're not a City fan is that Rodri will improve upon Fernandinho's work. The difference between the two is Rodri is constantly looking to play forward. The movement of City's wingers in behind as well as in-field will become even more dangerous because the Spaniard has the ability to play an eye of a needle pass.

Sane (if he stays), Sterling, Bernardo and Riyad Mahrez will undoubtedly benefit from his impeccable precision. Similarly, it will bring the best out of the more creative midfielders. Kevin De Bruyne had one of his best games in a while against Yokohama in pre-season, and this was certainly aided by the role Rodri played in supporting him.

CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/GettyImages

In today's market, there really aren't too many better deals to be found. City will be getting a young, intelligent and extremely intricate leader, who will bring the best out of those around him.

£62.6m may seem like a hefty chunk, but considering the sheer volume of quality he will bring, and we shouldn't even dare consider this anything other than a bargain.

The club have made some extremely shrewd signings over the years, but this may very well be the move that sends the Sky Blues into an era of utter domination. 

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