Sunday, February 5, 2023

Manchester City Could Lose Out On This Croatian Powerhouse: Should Guardiola Make A Move?

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Ankit Seth
Ankit is a 24-year-old, aspiring to have his voice heard through what he writes. Charismatic and frankly moral, adhering to his principles and beliefs. Out to search for a purpose in life and yet to settle on that matter.

According to Manchester Evening News, Manchester City could potentially lose out on Josko Gvardiol of RB Leipzig as European rivals Real Madrid reportedly lead the race in signing him. It is understood that Los Blancos are plotting to make an offer in the summer transfer window which brings heavy competition for the Croatian centre-back.

Gvardiol’s Campaign With RB Leipzig And His Nation

Gvardiol is experiencing a solid campaign at the Red Bull Arena as he has put in a series of impressive displays in the backline. He has found the back of the net on one occasion over 17 appearances for the German outfit so far across all fronts. He has even helped Croatia qualify for the knockout rounds of the 2022 FIFA World Cup featuring in all three matches held in the group stages.

The Croatian international has not racked up impressive numbers for his club as he has only averaged 0.4 tackles, 0.6 interceptions and 1.5 clearances per game in the Bundesliga. However, he has been consistent and reliable for his nation after averaging 1.3 tackles, 1.7 interceptions and 5.7 clearances per game while also keeping a clean sheet against Belgium that got them into the knockout stages. He has been accurate when distributing possession from the back, after completing 89.1% of his attempted passes in the German first division and similarly having a pass completion rate of 89.9% in the World Cup (stats via whoscored).

Etihad Stadium
Etihad Stadium

Should Manchester City Boss Pep Guardiola Make A Move?

The 20-year-old defender has a solid presence in the defensive third as he can sense the danger quickly to clear his lines and also make some crucial interceptions to win the ball back for his side. He has shown immense potential and the physical attributes to become one of the best in Europe at such a tender age.

The Croatian centre-back has caught the eye of several clubs through his impressive performances in the 2022 FIFA World Cup and has the quality to outclass many defenders in the next few years. Carlo Ancelotti has been wise to deem him as a potential target next summer as he also wishes to play for Madrid in the future. This could mean that it would be difficult for the Sky Blues in convincing him to join them at the Etihad.

However, the Mancunian giants boast an array of defenders at Guardiola’s disposal, so moving in for Gvardiol shouldn’t be a priority at the moment. They could test the waters in the summer transfer window by making an offer alongside the European Champions but shouldn’t invest themselves any further if he chooses to go the other way.

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