Guardiola holds high hopes for Rodri

Manchester City's club-record signing Rodri impressed Pep Guardiola on his debut against West Ham in the Premier League Asia Trophy.


Rodri in action on his Manchester City debut   -  Getty Images

Pep Guardiola has lofty expectations for Rodri following the midfielder's debut in Manchester City's friendly win over West Ham.

City's record signing Rodri started against the Hammers in the Premier League Asia Trophy match in Nanjing on Wednesday, playing 69 minutes.

Seemingly signed as a long-term replacement for Fernandinho, Rodri is likely to occupy a holding midfield role in Guardiola's side next term.

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During his time with Villarreal and Atletico Madrid in LaLiga, Rodri was often likened to Barcelona star Sergio Busquets, and Guardiola expects a great deal from the 23-year-old.

"[Rodri] is a Spain national team player and there they call him 'the next Busquets'. I think he is a very good player," Guardiola told a news conference.

"Ever since we [Guardiola and his staff] arrived here, we have tried to buy players who are 21, 22 or 23 years old.

"He is a young, typical defensive midfielder who thinks very quickly. I hope he is here for a long time.

"Rodri 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."

City's next pre-season outing comes on Saturday, when they take on Wolves.

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