HomeFootball NewsWhy are Manchester City interested signing defender Josko Gvardiol?

Why are Manchester City interested signing defender Josko Gvardiol?

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Despite winning the treble last season, Manchester City and Pep Guardiola are still determined to go again next season and to bolster their squad this summer. One signing has already been made in Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea, but now City want to add another Croatian, the RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol.

The Zagreb-born defender looks set to join City for around £86m, but why is he being brought in, and what will he bring to The Blues next season?

The 21-year-old defender joined RB Leipzig two years ago in the summer of 2021. The move came off the back of his strong performances at Euro 2020 and a run to the Europa League quarter-finals in the 2020-21 campaign with Dinamo Zagreb. Now, two years on, Gvardiol is wanted by Guardiola after an impressive World Cup in Qatar and an all-around eye-catching season.

The 6”1’ centre-back even scored against Manchester City in their last 16 first-leg clash in the Champions League last season, which ended in a 1-1 draw. However, the second leg was one to forget for the two-time German Cup winner. He and his team were on the end of a 7-0 thumping, in which Erling Haaland scored five. Despite that result, the Champions are still very interested in the highly rated defender.

A huge bonus for Manchester City is that Gvardiol is left-footed and has previously played as a left-back. With Guardiola looking likely to stick with playing four centre-backs in his backline, the Croatian international fits this perfectly. As it looks like Aymeric Laporte, also left-footed, will be leaving, it means a squad place is needed to be filled.

Gvardiol would be able to play at centre-half or even play left-back ahead of Nathan Ake. For the price he is reported to be moving for, it would be expected that he will be a starter, but his arrival will bring great competition for the other defenders at City.

After his performances against Manchester City last season, particularly in the first leg, it was clear to see the aerial power Gvardiol has. His goal in that match was a towering header. The RB Leipzig number 32 convincingly beat Ruben Dias in the air and got above Ake and Jack Grealish when the cross came in.

To be able to play in a Guardiola team defenders must be calm on the ball and have a passing range that is both short and long. Gvardiol brings both and is extremely confident when bringing the ball out of defence. It will allow Manchester City to play their usual game, playing out from the back and being progressive in their play.

If the signing of Josko Gvardiol is made, Manchester City’s defensive options will be nothing short of impressive. They will have a good mix of younger players (with Gvardiol and Rico Lewis), players in their mid to late 20s (John Stones, Manuel Akanji, and Dias), and slightly older players (33-year-old Kyle Walker). The £86m signing could help make Manchester City the team to beat for another season.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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