I was checking all of the latest transfer news related to Man City today. To be honest, I was not expecting to find much. You anyway don’t get much on a Sunday evening. But, it was surprising to find us linked with Arnau Martinez (https://www.sportskeeda.com/football/rumor-manchester-city-keen-signing-barcelona-target-20-million-release-clause-reports). What caught my eye even more was the fact that Barca are trying very hard to sign him. As I went through the profile of the player, I realized that he was from Girona. At that very moment I had a big wide smile on my face. I am sure that all of you might have guessed the reason for my happiness. Girona is basically our small brother and we own a majority stake in them. If Pep is really keen on Arnau Martinez, then he is surely getting him.
Arnau Martinez is an other typical Pep Guardiola full back. He is very comfortable on the ball and he likes to make those darting runs into the midfield. What stands out for me are his defensive qualities. He is absolutely a beast in 1v1 situations. In fact, his body positioning in 1v1 situations is so good that it reminds you of Kyle Walker in his absolute prime. He loves to engage with his opponents very aggressively and that is something Pep will admire a lot.
In an attacking sense, crossing is one of his major strengths. He loves to whip a ball from the wide positions. For me, its his versatility in cutting inside as well as going on the outside and crossing that stands out. We have Kyle Walker who is not comfortable in Cutting inside and Rico Lewis who does not look comfortable in going on the outside and crossing. With Arnau Martinez you get the best of both worlds. This is why Pep must be keen on signing him from Girona.
Versatility at Full Back
It adds much more spice to everything if you look at what Pep said after the Fa cup tie against Arsenal. Pep mentioned that when a team goes man to man he would prefer a full back who can go on the outside. He mentioned how Walker offered more control after coming on due to his ability to provide width. In a way Pep was speaking about the tactical flexibility of his right back here. With Arnau Martinez he can potentially solve it with the full back offering the best of both worlds.
I will never understand the fact why Pep does not even try to make our full backs overlap and cross into the box. All of this responsibility is laid on Kevin de Bruyne and Mahrez to an extent. This means that Kevin has to go out wide for starters and this is making it easy for Teams to pin him down. Just imagine the impact of a full back with excellent crossing prowess. Haaland would have got 50 goals by now. I am in no way exaggerating here. If we have a full back who can cross well, that means Kevin de Bruyne will have the freedom of controlling the middle of the pitch and the opposition will now have more than one threat to contend with.
It is clear that Pep is not happy with our attacking fluidity and he is constantly looking for solutions this season. The easiest thing to do in such a situation would be to look at the past and regret the step into the future. We could all sleep on the comfort of excuses like letting Gabby Jesus and Zinchenko go. It could be very easy for us to pin the blame on Erling Haaland and how he has disrupted a smooth system. But, Champions always prefer to think differently. They are comfortable with tweaking what is working and disrupting things. it is out of utter chaos that great teams are born. We were in that chaos in 2016 when Pep arrived. You have seen the result of that chaos in the next 6 years. Now, we must accept this change in our system and style of play to stay ahead of the competition for the next few years. Getting out from our comfort zone of the last few years might be painful, but we need to accept the pain to create an era of dominance in the next few years