Sunday, January 29, 2023

Manchester City Monitoring Situation Of This Real Madrid Midfielder: The Right Choice For Pep?

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Anas Molla
An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.

According to Manchester Evening News, Manchester City are monitoring the situation of Marcos Llorente. The Real Madrid midfielder is one of City’s three midfield targets this summer, with Rodri and Tanguy Ndombele being the other ones.

However, Llorente might be the cheapest among the three as both Ndombele and Rodri are likely to cost a fortune. Hence, he could appear as an appealing target for Manchester City, should they fail to land any of the other two midfielders this summer.

Llorente’s struggles at Real Madrid

Llorente is considered to be one of the brightest young players to come out of the Real Madrid youth academy in recent years. The midfielder was first promoted to the first-team in the summer of 2016. He was then shipped out to Deportivo Alaves on a season-long loan deal in the corresponding summer.

Llorente returned to the Real Madrid first-team in 2017, following an exceptional loan spell with Alaves, where he made 32 appearances during the 2016/17 campaign. However, since then, Llorente has been largely overlooked, having featured in just over 1,000 minutes of combined league football in the past two seasons. In the recently concluded La Liga campaign, the Spaniard struggled with injury for most of the season. As a result, his game-time was minimised to just 540 minutes.

What can Llorente bring to the table?

Llorente is a tactically astute central midfielder, who is primarily known for his tenacity on the pitch. He can combine well with teammates and create passing triangles with the supporting fullbacks and attackers. The 24-year-old is also adept in launching long balls to switch flanks and ease his side’s transition from midfield to defence or even defence to attack.

Llorente is certainly not the strongest midfielder around. But, his positional awareness coupled with tenacity in midfield allows him to win back possession for his team. The Spaniard notably averaged a whopping 3.8 tackles per game during his successful 2016/17 campaign with Alaves.

Should Manchester City make a move for Llorente?

Llorente could be an exciting replacement option for Fernandinho, given his tactical knowledge and ability to adapt to various situations. He is also likely to cost significantly less than the likes of Rodri and Ndombele – thus making him a viable target for Manchester City.

However, financial resources haven’t been a problem for the Sky Blues in the past decade. Hence, it would perhaps be wiser for them to continue on their pursuit of someone like Rodri. The Atletico Madrid midfielder is not only an experienced operator but can also provide great defensive cover for the backline – making him an ideal option for Pep Guardiola.

Stat courtesy: Whoscored

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