ROD GOES BACK TO THE FU­TURE

Manchester Evening News - - FRONT PAGE - By SI­MON BAJKOWSKI

Ro­DRI ad­mits he still has a lot to learn as he gets used to life in the Premier League.

City iden­ti­fied the Span­ish mid­fielder as the ideal suc­ces­sor to Fer­nand­inho in the cru­cial hold­ing role and were able to land him in sum­mer for a club record fee.

The 23-year-old has made a promis­ing start and was missed dur­ing a re­cent spell side­lined with a ham­string in­jury, but is yet to mas­ter all of the qual­i­ties that Fer­nand­inho brings to the po­si­tion and was un­able to pre­vent the Blues fall­ing nine points be­hind league lead­ers Liver­pool with de­feat at An­field on Sun­day.

De­spite a ter­rific ed­u­ca­tion in La Liga, first with Vil­lar­real and then un­der Diego Sime­one at Atletico Madrid, com­ing to the Premier League has de­manded ad­just­ments that Ro­dri needs more time to get used to.

“The Premier League is, along with La Liga, the most com­pet­i­tive league,” he said.

“This foot­ball is more ver­ti­cal and makes you learn be­cause you are not used to it. I am a more com­plete player.

“There are great teams in eng­land that make you com­pete at the max­i­mum level, the same as here in Spain.

“I feel I have a big room for im­prove­ment.”

If Ro­dri is still im­prov­ing, he feels in the best place to do it and rel­ishes work­ing with Pep Guardi­ola.

“He has a com­pet­i­tive edge, this de­sire to put pres­sure on the ri­vals, to study and an­a­lyse how to harm them. He is a worka­holic, he ded­i­cates the 24 hours of the day to his play­ers, to him­self and to find the way to win matches,” said Ro­dri.

“At an in­di­vid­ual level, it has helped me a lot that he played in the same po­si­tion than me. He gives me lots of ad­vice on how he sees foot­ball.”

Ro­dri says he is still learn­ing

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