Pep Guardiola Talks 'Next Busquets' Rodri: 'I Hope He Is Here for a Long Time'

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2019

Manchester City's new signing Rodri displays his shirt at a press conference at the Etihad stadium in Manchester, northwest England on July 4, 2019. - Premier League champions Manchester City announced the signing of Spanish international midfielder Rodri on a five-year deal from Atletico Madrid for a club record fee. Rodri, 23, officially became a City player a day after the La Liga club revealed the 70-million-euro (£63 million) release clause in his contract had been triggered. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP)        (Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)
LINDSEY PARNABY/Getty Images

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has acknowledged the comparisons new arrival Rodri has received with Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets. 

Guardiola, who managed Busquets during his time as Barcelona's head coach, reflected on Rodri after he made his first appearance for City in a 4-1 friendly win over West Ham United on Wednesday.

Per Goal, he said: "Ever since we arrived here we have tried to buy players who are 21, 22 or 23 years old. [Rodri] is a Spain national team player, and there they call him 'the next Busquets.' I think he is a very good player."

The Spaniard, who turned 23 in June, became the Sky Blues' record signing when he arrived from Atletico Madrid earlier in July for £62.8 million.

Guardiola added: "He is a young, typical defensive midfielder who thinks very quickly. I hope he is here for a long time. Rodrigo is tall, which for a short side like ours is very good. He is great at set-pieces but we didn't buy him for that."

Rodri is a technically accomplished holding midfielder who is as good on the ball as he is at winning it back for his side.

Scouted Football ran the rule over him upon his arrival at the Etihad Stadium:

As football writer Lee Roden and Squawka's Muhammad Butt observed, his qualities make him an ideal fit at City under Guardiola:

Fernandinho is now 34 and in the final year of his contract with the Sky Blues.

Rodri's arrival has come at the perfect time, as City will still have the experienced Brazilian to call upon while the Spaniard settles into his new surroundings.

Fernandinho has spent the last six years as a mainstay in City's midfield, playing a key role in three Premier League title wins, four League Cups and an FA Cup.

Because of his age and the qualities he possesses, Rodri could perform a similar role over a similarly long-term period.

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