Reliable Rodri the perfect antidote to 'Pep Roulette' for frustrated Dream Team managers | The Sun
LIKE several of Manchester City's new recruits, Rodri (£4.3m) took some time to adjust to life under Pep Guardiola.
However, few players have gone on to establish themselves as an essential component of the decorated tactician's system in the manner of the Spain international.
The 27-year-old now has the same aura about him as the legendary Barcelona midfielders who translated Guardiola's grand plan to the pitch over a decade ago.
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Just as he did in the Champions League final, Rodri provided the winning goal for his side against Sheffield United on Sunday with a sweet connection typical of his technical brilliance.
Whereas the treble-sealing strike in Istanbul was a controlled right-footed instep, his winner at Bramall Lane was an instinctive swing of the left, but no less effective.
Such is Rodri's importance to City, he is essentially immune to 'Pep Roulette' – the term given to Guardiola's unpredictable rotation policy that has often left Dream Team managers frustrated.
Even players of Kevin De Bruyne (£6.7m) and Phil Foden's (£4.5m) calibre have unexpectedly appeared on the substitute bench when heavily backed to plunder points against favourable opposition.
It would almost be simpler for Dream Team gaffers to stay clear of Etihad assets altogether but that's not a realistic strategy because there are so many points to be had when Pep Roulette spins in one's favour.
In Gameweek 3, illness restricted Foden to just a few minutes (he still provided an assist in that time) and while Guardiola can't be blamed for that, it was the latest example of an attacking midfielder missing out on significant points while the ever-present Rodri cashed in.
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The latter banked ten points when all was said and done to take his season tally to 29 – Bukayo Saka (£6.1m) is the only midfielder above him in the rankings.
Truth be told, Rodri has been a perfectly viable Dream Team option for a couple of years now but the reason gaffers were previously hesitant to back him related to the general lack of returns provided by defensive midfielders.
However, that's all changed this season because of the improved scoring system that recognises significant contributions in every aspect of the game.
It just so happens that Rodri has a decent eye for goal as well as being a master metronome and a savvy ball winner.
So while it's highly unlikely he'll maintain his current scoring of two goals in three outings, as the first name on the team sheet for 99% of fixtures he will inevitably will tick over for months on end.
A sizeable chunk of Dream Team managers have already recognised this as Rodri's ownership of 20.9% makes him the ninth-most popular player in the game at the time of writing.
And he'll probably be among the most recruited players ahead of the Gameweek 4.
For gaffers sick of Pep Roulette, Rodri is an enabler of regular, consistent City points.
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