Rodrigo Hernández Cascante or simply Rodri transferred from Atletico Madrid to Manchester City for 70 million euros. He was the Fernandhinio replacement but has he succeed the amazing Brazilian midfielder in the most smooth manner? Has he even performed to his Atleti level?
This report will show how the Spanish midfielder has transitioned this year and how he has done at Atleti.
Rodri plays as a defensive midfielder in pep’s team. His main role like most defensive midfielders is to protect the backline from counter-attacks. His role is much more crucial as he plays alongside no central midfielders but two attacking midfielders in David Silva and Kevin De Bryune. He has also played in a double pivot with Ilkay Gundogan.
His position has been signified by these heatmaps, the first map is about the game against Chelsea and the second one is against Liverpool.
Rodrigo is an amazing ball winner as he completes 3.7 tackles and 1.9 interceptions(possession adjusted) which is better than his Brazillian counter path’s numbers when compared to last season where Fernandhinio made 5 tackle and interceptions (possession adjusted). Rodri presses much more than Fernandhinio as reflected by his numbers as he completes 17 pressures per 90 and his pressure regains are at almost 4 per game.
He is also an average dribbler as he completes 1.4 dribbles per 90. He attempts an average of 70 passes per 90 with an impressive 93% pass accuracy.
Rodri is not the best game reader and is pretty immobile. He can be found out of position and that is why pep has played Gundugan so much!
Rodri has also faced a significant change in his team’s style he came from Atletico Madrid who is a super defensive team who have very average possession to Manchester City who is a lot more attacking and has the fourth most possession in Europe.
He has also faced changes in formation as he played in a 4-4-2 at Los Rojiblancos to a 4-3-3 at the sky blues.
The most important thing which makes Rodri different from Fernandhinio is tactical fouling. Rodri fouls more at 2.82 per match as compared to Fernandhinio’s last season number of 2.5 fouls per game.
The fouls of Rodrigo come from all over the pitch whereas Fernandhinio’s fouls came in a concentration of the middle third of the pitch.
The lack of tactical fouling has resulted in city facing more counter-attacks which have made city very vulnerable in defence.
Rodri is a very good and upcoming midfielder, he still has to learn his trade from one of the best managers in the world, I think he would be much better next year as he would have had one year to adapt like Bernardo Silva, he was average in his first season but became a groundbreaker in his second season.
Rodri will eventually succeed Fernandhinio but he might face problems due to media.
Source- statsbomb, whoscored