Rodri can play in same Spain midfield as Busquets – Moreno

By Sports Desk August 23, 2019

Rodri could partner Sergio Busquets in a two-man midfield for Spain because of his "incredibly quality", according to national team boss Robert Moreno.

Manchester City's club-record signing has adjusted well since moving to the Etihad Stadium, starting the club's opening two Premier League matches.

The 23-year-old honed his playmaking abilities at LaLiga sides Villarreal and Atletico Madrid, with Rodri now considered a potential long-term national team successor to 31-year-old Barcelona mainstay Busquets.

Although they perform similar roles at club level, Spain boss Moreno thinks the deep-lying pair could work in the same side.

"Of course, if there is a match in which we consider that the opponent is good in the air, or that we need more physical players we will try, without losing our identity, to include the players that can improve us in that department," Moreno told El Pais.

"I think we now have players that have many characteristics.

"Rodri has incredible quality, but Fabian [Ruiz] too.

"We have Koke and Saul [Niguez], who were not part of the squad last time, but who can give us that touch football and also that aggressiveness they have with [Diego Simeone]. We also like to have that.

"Simeone's style, while not being the football that I propose, I love it."

Spain return to Euro 2020 qualifying action next month with games against Romania and Faroe Islands.

Moreno took charge on a permanent basis in June after Luis Enrique stepped down for family reasons.

Related items

  • Guardiola thinks 'incredible' Arteta will be next Man City manager Guardiola thinks 'incredible' Arteta will be next Man City manager

    Pep Guardiola believes the "incredible" Mikel Arteta will succeed him as Manchester City manager.

    Arteta joined Guardiola's backroom staff as an assistant coach in July 2016, just after finishing his playing career with Arsenal.

    Under Guardiola, City have enjoyed plenty of success, winning two Premier League titles, two EFL Cup trophies, an FA Cup and two Community Shields.

    Guardiola believes his fellow Spaniard, Arteta, could be the man to replace him at the Etihad Stadium.

    "I'm pretty sure [he'll succeed me]. He will have success," he told UK media.

    "Sooner or later it's going to happen [Arteta becoming a manager]. He's a young, young manager. He has experience already, handling big players and big teams.

    "He's got an incredible work ethic. He has a special talent to analyse what happens and to find solutions. We talk a lot about what he believes and how he feels."

    Guardiola said Arteta saw the game in a similar way to him, while also lauding the former Everton midfielder's character.

    "He's so happy when we win but suffers when we don't and that is why he tries to find a solution," he said.

    "He's an incredible human being, with incredible values about what it means in the locker room to be together, and he is already an incredible manager and he'll have incredible success in his future.

    "We see the football in really quite a close way."

    City, who are five points adrift of Premier League leaders Liverpool, host Watford on Saturday.

  • Leon Bailey set to miss Reggae Boyz’ Nations League outing Leon Bailey set to miss Reggae Boyz’ Nations League outing

    Reggae Boy Leon Bailey will not play for the country when it takes on a pair of games against Aruba in October.

    The Reggae Boyz begin their CONCACAF Nations League tie against Aruba at the National Stadium in Kingston on October 12 but then move on to Curacao for the away leg two days later.

    Bailey’s unavailability was confirmed when scans showed a muscular tear following Bayer Leverkusen's UEFA Champions League game against Locomotiv Moscow.

    Bailey has proved a little underwhelming, since coming into the Reggae Boyz line up for, first the Gold Cup, and now the CNL, but managed to score his first goal for the outfit earlier this month as the side crushed Antigua & Barbuda 6-0.

    Bailey will be absent for about a month and won’t be available until November 15 and 18 when the Reggae Boyz take on Antigua & Barbuda and Guyana.

  • He's incredible - Guardiola hopeful of Fernandinho stay He's incredible - Guardiola hopeful of Fernandinho stay

    Pep Guardiola is hopeful midfielder Fernandinho stays at Manchester City beyond the end of the season when his contract expires.

    The 34-year-old joined City in 2013 from Shakhtar Donetsk and has gone on to become a vital – if often unheralded – cog in the team.

    He featured 29 times last season as City edged out Liverpool in the title race, while he looks set for an important role at centre-back over the coming weeks following injuries to Aymeric Laporte and John Stones.

    Spain international midfielder Rodri was brought in from Atletico Madrid in the transfer window, with every indication suggesting him to be the long-term replacement for Fernandinho.

    But Guardiola has no desire to see him leave, even if he is unsure about what is happening in terms of discussions.

    "It's not my business, I'm sorry guys, it's Txiki's [Begiristain, City sporting director] business," Guardiola told reporters when asked if there had been progress in talks. "Do you have Txiki's phone number?

    "Of course, he is a joyful player," Guardiola added when asked if he wanted the Brazilian to stay.

    "What he has done for all of us, especially me as a manager, our time together has paid off, it's incredible. He's incredible, so no doubts."

    Left-back Benjamin Mendy is closing in on a return to fitness after he missed the majority of last season with a serious knee injury.

    And Guardiola is excited for the France international's comeback, convinced he will add another dimension to City's play.

    "In the future he is going to play a little bit more regularly and try to understand what we want to do, because he has missed two seasons without training and the guy, to understand things, he has to practice," he said.

    "Just for the videos, or just talking, he has to train and play and play and play and always we dreamed that he would be an incredibly important player for us.

    "With him we can attack more constantly, he brings a special quality that only he has in our team, so with [Oleksandr] Zinchenko we cannot attack the wides and deep, but his qualities are completely different.

    "With Mendy we can do that. Hopefully he can be fit, healthy and play."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.