Manchester City signs Gvardiol, the most expensive defender in the world | Sports


“Six is ​​not too many,” says Pep Guardiola. He is referring to the central defenders that he can have in his team, not the titles with which he can close a dream season to be at the level of Barcelona that he led towards the sextet in 2009. Manchester City confirmed this Saturday the signing of Josko Gvardiol , the sought-after Croatian defender who surprised in the last Euro Cup, a starter in his mature team at just 19 years old, a teenager who was four years old when Luka Modric debuted with his country’s harlequin jacket. Leipzig was revived after that tournament and recruited him from Dinamo Zagreb for 18 million euros. Now, two years later, he has just sold it for 90 (he has to pay 14 million, 20% of the capital gain to the Croatian club), the highest fee ever paid for a center-back.

The cost of Gvardiol, who signed a five-year contract, is at a peak in which he surpasses Maguire, for whom Manchester United paid 87 million euros (this month West Ham offered him 20 million to rescue him from the substitution). He also leaves behind City’s new acquisition of the Dutch De Ligt and Van Dijk, valued at around 85 million in their day. City’s sixth center-back also raises the club’s investment in that area to 344 million euros since Guardiola’s arrival in Manchester in the summer of 2016. Rubén Dias (71 million), Laporte (65), Stones (55, Aké ( 45) and Akanji (18) complete the luxurious cast.

Gvardiol, whose new coach points out that he has “a nice last name”, is not expected this Sunday at the event that opens the season in England. After triumphing in the Premier, Cup and Champions, Manchester City opposes the Community Shield, the English Super Cup that crosses him with Arsenal, runner-up in the regularity tournament. On the Wembley bench, the Catalan coach will once again have Juanma Lillo at his side, who returns after a one-year stint at Al-Sadd in Qatar and covers the loss of Enzo Maresca who left the City staff to accept an offer from Leicester and try to guide him back to the Premier.

Lillo’s influence on Guardiola is notorious even before he coached him in the twilight of his footballing career in Mexico. “He sees things that no one else sees,” summed up the Catalan coach when confirming the return of the strategist who traced some of City’s developments in recent times. When Lillo joined the team’s coaching staff in the summer of 2020, he assumed among his tasks that of improving the defensive balance of a team that had just succumbed to Liverpool in the only one of the last six Premier that has not won. Then City closed the league with nine defeats, always dominant in the opposite field, but exposed as never before to the transitions of their opponents. Lillo contributed to perfecting the situations in which City lost the ball and defined the importance of the team becoming strong in the axis. From there, Guardiola’s decision was forged to line up four footballers with training as center-backs in the eleven.

Ruben Dias, Akanji, Aké and Stones joined the same team in the Champions League final and in the decisive phase of last season. Laporte stayed on the bench more times than he is supposed to due to his talent and Kyle Walker, who enters that equation but is a full-back from origin, wants to be transferred to Bayern. The arrival of Gvardiol reinforces the alternatives for that approach in which the centrals govern. “Defending well is exciting,” says Guardiola, who is looking for defenders who obviously guarantee him a good release of the ball, but above all who shield him and win duels against any type of striker. Gvardiol has the stamp of a warrior, he is tough, fast, he is used to going to the side line, he moves the ball well with his left foot, he knows how to break lines also while driving and in the round of 16 of the last Champions League he scored a goal for him to City in a strategic action.

While City takes flight, Guardiola announces that they are still going to move on the market.

You can follow EL PAÍS Sports on Facebook y Twitterpoint here to receive our weekly newsletter.

Source link

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.