Friday, June 9, 2023

Manchester City Intensify Their Efforts To Sign This Bundesliga Defender: Decent Fit For Pep?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent print edition, SportBILD stated that Manchester City have intensified their efforts to sign Red Bull Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol. It has been claimed that Man City are trying to secure the services of the Croatia international.

Gvardiol’s Impressive Form In German Football

Gvardiol has been a rock at the back for the German club this season as he has put in a run of impressive displays for them on the defensive third of the pitch. The 21-year-old has participated in 35 matches for Leipzig during this campaign, netting three goals for them in all competitions.

The Croat defensive ace has been a consistent performer when defending inside his half based on his average of 0.8 tackles, 1.1 interceptions and 2.6 clearances per 90 minutes in Bundesliga. He has even been accurate when distributing possession from the back after making 89.6% of his attempted passes in the top tier of German football (stats via whoscored).

Gvardiol is under contract at the Red Bull Arena until the summer of 2027. Thus, Man City will have to pay a big fee if they want to bring him to the Etihad Stadium at the end of this season.

Josko Gvardiol
Leipzig’s Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol plays the ball during the German Cup (DFB Pokal) quarter-final football match RB Leipzig v BVB Borussia Dortmund in Leipzig, eastern Germany on April 5, 2023. (Photo by Ronny HARTMANN / AFP) / DFB REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND QUASI-VIDEO. (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

Is Gvardiol A Decent Fit For Manchester City Head Coach Pep Guardiola?

Gvardiol can sense the danger quickly to secure the ball back for his team on the defensive end of the field. He is a good tackler of the ball and usually clears the danger when the opposition are on the front foot. The Croatia international is a decent passer of the ball as well and can use his strong 1.85m frame to his fair share of aerial duels. He is primarily a central defender but can also function as a left-back if told to do so.

Gvardiol has what it takes to earn a regular starting spot at Man City if Pep Guardiola can devise a way to bring him on board this summer.

The Croat youngster is already good enough to help the Mancunian giants maintain their dominance in English football. Plus, Gvardiol’s skillset will fit Guardiola’s style of play quite well at the Etihad. All in all, he would be a great, long-term signing for Man City to pull off in this off-season.

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