Pep Guardiola’s summer spending at Manchester City shows little sign of relenting just yet after Brazilian defender Danilo’s switch from Real Madrid was announced on their official website today.
BBC Sport reports that the 26-year-old will join up with the Citizens in a deal worth around £26.5 million, signing a five-year contract, and he will fly out to Los Angeles for the pre-season tour.
Speaking after his unveiling he said: “I am very, very happy to be joining Manchester City.
“There has been strong interest from other Clubs, but it has always been my ambition to play for Pep Guardiola. As soon as I heard of his interest, I knew immediately I wanted to be a City player.
The Brazilian has become Manchester City’s fourth signing so far this summer – with Monaco’s Benjamin Mendy set to become the fifth – and the second defender after Kyle Walker’s arrival too.
With Guardiola pumping more money and investment into his defensive line, The Boot Room looks at four statistics that suggest the ex-Real Madrid man could be the one to revive City’s defensive line.
2.90 – Anticipation off the ball
One thing that has particularly stood out about Danilo’s style of play during his continuing development at Real Madrid is his ability to read the game and step out of the defensive line.
Usually deployed at right-back, he has become comfortable at anticipating opposition play and intercepting the ball – so much so that at 2.9 per game he had the best rate of all Madrid defenders.
This clever footballing brain is something that no doubt alerted the attention of manager Pep Guardiola, with his speed to close down the options able to help his side get on the attack quickly.
55 – Experience at the very top
One thing that Danilo can certainly bring to the Etihad for next season is experience at the highest level, for arguably the world’s best team in Real Madrid, and this could be a priceless asset this year.
In two years at the Bernabeu since arriving from Porto he has won back-to-back Champions League titles, appearing ten times, and he played a supporting role in Los Blancos’ La Liga triumph in 2016.
Despite spending a lot of time on the periphery of the Madrid team under Zinedine Zidane, he still managed 55 appearances in just two seasons, and he can bring this education to help improve City
86% – Keeping things ticking over
For Danilo to fit in well as a potential right-wing back at Manchester City next season, challenging Kyle Walker, he will need to be more than adept at charging down the wing and slotting into midfield.
This different style of play, to what he has been accustomed to in the Spanish capital, could be something that the Brazilian picks up well though, ending the year with an 86% pass accuracy rate.
And with the 26-year-old playing 421 forward passes last season – higher amounts than his respective backward passes – it seems that there is already an attacking intent burning in Danilo.
5 – Danilo’s defensive steel
Yet the most pertinent thing for Danilo this season is how well he slots in to Manchester City’s defence, helping Guardiola’s side consolidate at the back after a season full of errors last time out.
The Brazilian made an average of five major defensive contributions to Real Madrid in their victorious La Liga campaign – a number higher than the outgoing Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta.
And a tally of 42 clearances, 37 interceptions and seven key blocks suggests that Danilo has the defensive capabilities to re-enforce City as they look to make waves domestically and in Europe.
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