Pep eyes an Euro star for his addition to Manchester City

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Speak of wise transfers around the world; Pep Guardiola might just rank at the top. With the tactical genius spending over millions every year but making sure the worth of every penny. In the recent Euro one player has caught his eye. This can be an iconic transfer for a long-term investor. Pep Guardiola wishes to pair 34 million-pound Italian defender Riccardo Calafiori with Akanji in Manchester City. A lot of journalists claim this could be the perfect pairing for the Spanish manager. This will not only improve the current strong wall of the city but will also have an overall impact on the team. City are brutal when it comes to competitiveness. Pep will leave no stone unturned to add another Premier League trophy to his cabinet. Considering his tenure is coming to a close, he would like to gift the cityzens another Champions League before parting ways.

Manchester City showing interest in Riccardo Calafiori

According to The Athletic journalist James Horncastle, City are showing some interest in centre-back Riccardo Calafiori. As per reports, the Calafiori will cost City only 34 million pounds, which is not a big deal for Seikh Mansour. Pairing him with Manuel Akanji will surely give the speedsters at Arsenal big worries. Not only the gunners, but every team will struggle more than ever to pass the defenders in prime. As a matter of fact, Caladiori has been performing outstandingly in the Euro, which would only increase his price. Manchester City would be more than happy to put the right value on the player.

The Italian defender’s height is very good in the air. He will give the City defence reliability by holding the backline. Calafiori won 2.5 aerial duels per game last term in Serie A—a success rate of 71%—which suggests it takes a lot for an opposition player to get the better of him in the air. He is also good at making forward runs whenever needed. The Bologna defender ranks in the top 1% for assists (0.19) and the top 3% for shot-creating actions (1.76) per 90. The 22-year-old even ranks in the top 8% for successful take-ons (0.5%) per 90, again further evidence of his keenness to move the ball forward at any given opportunity. Slotting him alongside Akanji, who ranks in the top 3% for progressive carries and for pass success rate in Europe’s top five leagues, could give Guardiola a defensive duo who love to play out from the back and start attacks deep in their own half.

Stats speak for itself: Zambrotta praises the future

The defender has a similar aesthtic to that of legendary defenders of Italy, often drawing comparisons with Maldini and Neta.

Riccardo Calafiori against Albania at Euro 2024
Accurate passes99/106
Total duels won6
Tackles made1
Successful dribbles2
Key passes1
Via Sofascore

The stats for a 22-year-old defender who is already performing for his national team speak volumes. Former Juventus legend Zambrotta was in praise of Calafiori. He is assured of the future of his country in the right direction. Zambrotta further said:

He played an extraordinary game, like the whole team in the first 60 minutes.He played with personality, without fear, perhaps the only flaw was on the long ball where we took a risk with Donnarumma’s exit. But he showed some beautiful things yesterday.”There is no doubt that the youngster looks the part. Could a move to the Premier League come sooner than expected to partner Akanji at the back?He could provide a dominant aerial force and progressive presence in possession next to the Swiss international during the 2024/25 campaign and beyond.”

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