Manchester City plotting transfer swoop for Barcelona defender

    Pep Guardiola planning for a reunion with Barcelona’s Sergi Roberto.

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    Manchester City are reportedly planning a transfer move for Barcelona right-back Sergi Roberto as Pep Guardiola looks to join hands with his former protege, reports Mundo Deportivo. Meanwhile, the Spanish full-back is ready to make a transfer switch only if he is made sure that he will play under Guardiola.

    Roberto’s journey with Barcelona

    It would be a stretch to say that Roberto has hit the stride in the Blaugrana colours. Indeed, it was under Guardiola Roberto entered into the main team after excelling in the ranks of La Masia. The Spaniard’s journey with the azulgrana has been kind of a mixed bag as he has failed to attain a starting berth over the years. A midfielder by trade, Roberto was converted into a full-back ever since the veteran Dani Alves left the Camp Nou. Furthermore, the arrival of Nelson Semedo – who wasn’t impressive either – saw Roberto getting benched often. The La Masia graduate has made more than 200 appearances for the Blaugrana and, everybody is well aware of his best moment with the club – the last-minute goal by him which inspired a famous “remontada” against PSG in the UCL.

    Will Robert be a good signing for Man City?

    Having a world-class full-back like Kyle Walker at the Etihad, Roberto could often find it difficult to climb up the pecking order. Walker, despite entering his 30’s, has still got some good years ahead of him. The ex-Tottenham star joined the SkyBlues in 2017 and has since become an integral part of the team. However, Roberto can be a good back-up option than Joao Cancelo, who has struggled to find his feet in his debut season in the Premier League. The Portuguese full-back has suffered from the lack of game time under Guardiola this season and also has been linked with an exit from the Ethiad; Barcelona have expressed their interest in Cancelo, trying to bring him through a swap deal involving Semedo.

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    Roberto can excel under the guidance of his former boss as he has the positional intelligence and the attacking nous and the versatility to play in several positions. The 28-year-old could be easily accustomed to the inverted full-back role – the style Guardiola implements a lot – given his positional discipline. Roberto is more of an attacking full-back, albeit having an unimpressive index, who has a good engine to constantly move along the flanks. Passing, especially short passes, has always been a standout asset for Roberto, who has attained a pass success percentage of 91 in La Liga this season while averaging around 64 passes per game. He doesn’t attempt so many crosses nor he is a creative outlet but can easily slot into the City’s squad owing to his style of play.

    Having all the necessary qualities to play under Guardiola and the ability to face the wear and tear of the English top-flight, Roberto can be a valuable addition to the Cityzens.

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