According to a report from Sky Sport, Manchester City, under Pep Guardiola’s management, are on the verge of completing a £77.6 million deal to secure the services of RB Leipzig’s centre-back, Josko Gvardiol. The agreement between Man City and Leipzig have settled on a transfer fee of €90 million for the 21-year-old Croatian international. Notably, Gvardiol had attracted interest from Chelsea and Tottenham the previous year, making his impending move to Manchester City a significant development in the transfer market.
Gvardiol’s Remarkable Campaign In Bundesliga Last Season
During the previous season, Gvardiol had a remarkable campaign in the Bundesliga as a key player in Leipzig’s defensive setup at the Red Bull Arena. The Croatian talent showcased his attacking prowess by netting three goals in 41 matches across various competitions for the German club.
Defensively, Gvardiol displayed a high level of consistency, averaging 0.8 tackles, 1.1 interceptions, and 2.3 clearances per game in the Bundesliga. Additionally, his ball distribution skills were noteworthy, boasting an impressive pass success rate of 89.3% in the top tier of German football, as per statistics from Whoscored.
Can The Croatia International Deliver For Manchester City?
Unlike traditional centre-backs, Gvardiol possesses a unique ability to contribute offensively. His presence in set-pieces and aerial duels is menacing for opponents, as demonstrated by his commendable goal-scoring record during his stint with RB Leipzig. Standing at an imposing height of 1.85 meters, Gvardiol is a towering figure in the box, making him a potent threat during attacking set pieces.
Gvardiol’s versatility on the defensive front is a crucial aspect of his skillset. He can play as a central defender or even a left-back, but his adaptability allows managers to deploy him in various tactical setups. His agility, pace, and reading of the game make him equally adept at handling wingers and robust strikers.
Therefore, his inclusion in the defensive department at the Etihad Stadium would be a brilliant move. Given Pep Guardiola‘s transition to a three-man backline, Gvardiol’s presence on either the left or right side of the defensive line, alongside Ruben Dias and Manuel Akanji, would offer ample cover. This setup would enable John Stones to advance into the attacking third and assume a defensive role in the middle of the park alongside Rodri. Thus, Guardiola has done well to target him this summer as he would significantly strengthen the backline at the Etihad Stadium.