Manchester City have confirmed the signing of Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig

Manchester City target, Josko Gvardiol (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Manchester City target, Josko Gvardiol (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images) /

Manchester City have finally got their man in Josko Gvardiol.

Josko Gvardiol to Manchester City is rumoured no more, with the deal being made official as of today after the clubs had a breakthrough in negotiations yesterday. He has completed his medical, signed off on the paperwork, and the media team has spread the new authentic images of him in his Manchester City kit far and wide across all social media sites.

The treble winners are set to pay €90 million, or £77.6 million, for the Croatian international, and with two City defenders rumoured to be on the way out, the reinforcement will be a welcome sight. He is highly regarded around Europe as one of the best young central defenders, or the best depending on your point of view, so it’s no wonder why City had to cough up a fee just under that of the most expensive defender, Harry Maguire.

Why pay up?

In terms of why Manchester City wanted him so badly, well, isn’t it obvious? Starting first with his style of play, it’s a natural fit. In fact, Gvardiol had the highest dribble success rate in the Bundesliga last year, at 88.9%. Now that’s not typically expected nor seen from a central defender, but when Pep Guardiola brought in Ederson, his skill set was also highly unique. So, on top of an incredible passing range, Pep now has another defender who can progress the ball by himself from a deep position, perhaps hinting that Gvardiol will be another John Stones-type player in terms of his position on the left.

The next reason is perhaps in preparation for losing Aymeric Laporte. Pep will need another left-footed defender who can play as a center-back primarily, as well as filling in at left-back when the situation calls for it. Pep’s newfound love for playing proper central defenders in an inverted role in midfield, combined with the fact that Gvardiol looks like what somebody would create in a lab for that specific responsibility, just makes a whole lot of sense.

What should really excite the Manchester City fans is his beautiful blend of both traditional hard-knocks defending with a top-tier level of passing. Imagine Gvardiol being able to put in a crunching tackle, get hold of the remains and look up only to see Erling Haaland making a run in behind the opposition defense. That scenario will very likely become a reality in any given competition for Manchester City this season because Gvardiol has the willingness to go in for a tackle and the ability to execute passes at a high level.

At 21, Josko Gvardiol is hardly the finished product, and who can blame him at such a young age? His ascension has been rapid and impressive, but as is with all footballers at any stage in their careers, there are always areas to improve. Gvardiol is not an exception to this rule, and the pressing side of his game is rumoured to be the side that he can improve upon most.

While Guardiola is not known to be a defensive coach, it’s hard to deny he has improved players like Nathan Aké, and Manuel Akanji, taking Kyle Walker to new heights, and certainly playing a part in John Stones’ phenomenal season. Working under Pep has certainly played a part in the Croatian International’s decision and should come as no surprise. So, why would it be unreasonable to think that Pep couldn’t improve a 21-year-old Josko Gvardiol?

Now, that’s a thought to give strikers nightmares.