Romeo Lavia – The heir to Fernandinho’s Throne
2 years ago, when Pep Guardiola asked a 16 year old defensive midfielder from the academy to join the first team training, it raised more than a few eye brows. The player in question had just joined the club a few months ago and i found it quite interesting that Pep had such a keen interest in someone who had spent just a few months at the academy. Also, a major part of my curiosity was down to the fact that Lavia was a CDM and as we all know defensive midfielders are the heart beat of Pep’s teams.
Strengths of Lavia
Some of the strengths of Lavia include excellent tackling, ball recovery and breaking the press. Before he joined City, Lavia used to run around a lot, which is common for any young midfielder. But, after his first year at the academy, he has learnt to read the game much better and his positioning has improved so much that he has compensated most of his running with taking up great positions. Also, Lavia has told in an interview that, he now plays on the half turn, which allows him to be ahead of the game and get into great positions much faster. He credits Pep and the academy coaches for this improvement.
People say that there is no point in pressing Lavia, he is that good on the ball. He is tenacious in his tackles and people have compared his tackling with Kante. When i see him play, he reminds me of a player who has both Kante and Fernandinho combined in him.
Weaknesses of Lavia
He still has to work on breaking lines with passes from the deep. This is an attribute that is manadatory, if you want to be a Pep Guardiola midfielder. Lavia has improved in this aspect a lot and i am sure, as he progresses through to the first team, he will become much better at it.
In Lavia, we have unearthed a gem, who could be the heart beat of this City team for the next decade and a half. He needs to be progressed well into the first team and the fact that he is already getting to learn from Fernandinho should only accelerate his development