Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Most important Man City player drops bombshell on ditching Guardiola for Saudi Arabia

Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri, Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland

An incredibly influential Manchester City star has made a huge admission on the prospect of signing up for the burgeoning Saudi Pro League.

When posing the question who is the most important player at Man City, a few names immediately spring to mind. Captain Ruben Dias is the leader at the back, while Rodri makes everything tick in the middle.

Kevin De Bruyne is a creative genius further forward, while Erling Haaland broke the Premier League record for most goals scored in a single season (36) at the first time of asking.

However, one look at City’s recent results suggests the honour should fall to Rodri.

Indeed, the three matches Rodri recently missed through suspension all ended in defeat for Man City. Wolves (2-1) and Arsenal (1-0) both secured victories in the Premier League, while Newcastle (1-0) knocked City out of the EFL Cup.

By contrast, the seven matches Rodri has participated in all saw Man City emerge victorious.

The Community Shield defeat to Arsenal on penalties is the outlier, though whether the season’s traditional curtain raiser should be classified as a competitive fixture is a debate for another day.

Rodri is arguably the best holding midfielder in world football at present. He’s also begun to influence the game at the other end too, with his winner in last season’s Champions League final helping City complete a historic treble.

In the current campaign the Spaniard has already notched three goals and two assists despite missing three matches through suspension.

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Rodri is practically irreplaceable and losing a player of his calibre while in his prime aged 27 would be a bitter pill to swallow for Pep Guardiola and co.

However, with the growing influence of the Saudi Pro League, losing key players is a reality many European giants are becoming increasingly aware of.

But when speaking to El Partidazo de COPE during the current international break, Rodri settled any nerves at the Etihad when explaining why he’ll not be ditching Manchester for Saudi Arabia any time soon.

Future Spain return possible, but Saudi Arabia a no-go

“I have to tell you that I am a person who tries to enjoy the moment,” said Rodri. “I don’t look around.

“I didn’t have the idea or imagine that I could play in the Premier League and then once you get here, well, the truth is that everything has been very positive. It is an experience that I am living very intensely.

“Spain is my country, my political culture, where I was born. Obviously, we’ll see because, I’ve already said it, football is very changeable. I am a player who moves around a lot.

“What attracts me most is the sporting aspect; I want to win and that’s what I’ve always been working for. Obviously, that’s why I came here. At the moment I’m very happy, we’ll see later.”

On Saudi Arabia specifically, Rodri added: “I think it’s very complicated.

“It would be very complicated to join a project like Arabia because, as I told you, my priority in football is ambition, it is sporting ambition, individual ambition, collective ambition and at the moment Arabia is not there.”

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