The January transfer window has kicked in and the clubs are planning and plotting for various transfers which can aid to their cause. Amidst the reports that have been surfacing, the one of Ricardo Rodríguez being eyed by two top English clubs in Chelsea and Arsenal does raise a considerable amount of interest.
The urge to do better in the league where the hostility is humungous and the bar of excellence is incredibly high, it is of paramount importance for the players to be put under the microscope before they are roped in by any side, particularly if it involves a top side like the aforementioned two London clubs. We have compiled a briefing on VfL Wolfsburg’s Rodríguez by making a scrutiny of him and left it on our viewers to decide whether he fits in or not.
First and foremost, it has to be noted down that Rodríguez is very much like a modern-day full-back. The attributes that he possesses are very much alike to what most of the attacking-minded clubs would die to have. He is an avid attacker from the left-back slot, can tirelessly run up and down the pitch and is a phenomenon crosser of the ball. Moreover, has an excellent eye for goal and always tends to pose a danger to his opponents in the set-pieces with the decent stature that he has got.
Honestly speaking, he has been VfL Wolfsburg best player so far this season and his meteoric rise has not gone unnoticed. In 14 appearances, the Swiss international has bagged a couple of goals as well. Not to forget, 24-year-old is a renowned defender as well: prolific in the air, strong in making precise tackles and very good personnel to be relied on in the one-vs-one situations.
16 tackles (with a success rate of 55%), 21 interceptions, 30 clearances and 6 blocks already in the German Bundesliga this season speak volumes of his calibre. He appeals his suitors with the way he bosses most of the games he plies his trade in. Thus, it would not be biased to mention that he is very much of a tailor-made player who can take his game to the next level through playing in the Premier League for either Arsenal or Chelsea.
Well, this is the part everyone fancies seeing: his demerits, or in less harsh words, his weaknesses. The former Zürich boy suffers from improper positional sense many a time and seems to drift away into the clutches of mediocrity when he faces daunting opponents. Getting himself pushed high up on the pitch more often than not, he leaves the backline being considerably exposed and at the mercy of the opponents’ attack.
Apart from inferior positional sense, Rodríguez is often criticised for misplacing his passes which dent his team’s pursuits. However, there is no need for the alarm bells to start ringing, considering his age and he just needs some guidance regarding the amendment of the flaws he currently has.
Despite being just a 24-year-old, he has been a talismanic figure for the Wolves and has already accumulated plenty of top flight experience under his belt. The fire in his belly urges him to rigorously better his former self every day, as he pushes himself beyond his yardsticks to be a complete package.
Opportunities will come aplenty at Chelsea or Arsenal for Rodríuez, considering the aim of the London outfits to bolster their chance to clinch silverwares. Kieran Gibbs has failed to live up to the expectations which were once nested on him and thus, Nacho Monreal is the only recognised left-back for the Gunners. Similarly, Marcos Alonso is Antonio Conte’s only formidable go-to man for the left back role for the Blues.
Although he has sound physical attributes, a staggering prowess with an attacking-minded game plan, a calm temperament and quite a bit of experience, Premier League is a completely different ball game. The Swiss star does look like a lucrative asset after a remarkable season so far but he does need a few more under his belt before he makes a galvanising move.
Statistics Credits: Squawka