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Ruben Dias: What Made His Man City Transition So Smooth

Ruben Dias: What Made His Man City Transition So Smooth

Expensive transfers are always a risk, even when you are at the top of your game and comfortably leading the Premier League. When Ruben Dias was moved to Man City, the natural question that came from fans and players alike was, is he worth his transfer fee? After joining the club last year, it seems that this central defender is already proving his worth. He has taken to his new role like a duck to water in fairness, so just what made this Man City transition so smooth?

Goodbye Benfica

Before heading to the UK to join the team in Manchester, Dias played for Benfica and has proved to be the perfect asset to the squad. It will be interesting to see how the rumours play out that he is being poached by rivals Manchester United. City boss Pep Guardiola certainly can't speak any higher of his new arrival, saying that he has been a critical cog in the winning wheel and the consistently brilliant performance they have managed to pull off. Since he took to the field for the first-time last October, the manager has been full of praise, stating how important he is and how impressed the whole team are with the quality of play that he has brought to the table.

Match Fit and Beyond

One thing that has stood out is his incredible recovery time meaning that he is able to participate in a match every three days if there is a demand. Not every player is that fit, and sadly, many are injured on a regular basis and therefore become less of an asset to their teams. Guardiola spoke highly of the personal regime that Ruben Dias sticks to, which ensures he is in tiptop condition. Of course, he has age on his side at just 23, and his transfer fee was an impressive £65 million. He came up earlier than expected after Benfica‘s exit from the Champions League. However, this cannot be said to be anything to do with the young player as he appeared in 130 matches over his three-year signing and was actually selected for the World Cup squad in 2018 for Portugal when he was just 21.

Squaring Off

If we look at Dias and compare him to the other centre backs at Man City, based on performances since 2019, he certainly has the most appearances at 35 games. He also holds the record for minutes played at 3150 and has scored three goals which are equal to that of Ake. The only other centre back to have scored is Laporte during 15 match appearances. Neither Stones nor Garcia has managed to achieve any goals, with Garcia only putting in 880 minutes on the pitch. During his time on the field, Dias works hard and has been involved in 2319 passes and 177 tackles, interceptions and clearances. Although that said, Ake tops the chart here with 217 tackles, interceptions and clearances.

Jesse Lingaard

Hole to Fill

Man City have certainly had a gap in the defence line-up since Kompany departed in May 2019. His strengths that are now lacking were the ability to bring aggressive authoritative play and, of course, being a right-footed centre back. Dias may not have been the initial choice; City was initially gunning for a much more experienced player, for the finished product if you like. However, with names like Koulibaly on the table, they may actually have lucked out because his fee would have been nearer £70 million, and he is already six years older than Dias. At the same time, the transfer window that brought them this player also enabled them to lose 32-year-old Otamendi, who was proving not to be worth his weight. When you compare the two performances, side-by-side Koulibaly has also had a very irregular period, which is the exact opposite of Dias. So, although he might be slightly greener, he is proving to be a worthy contender to pick up where Kompany left off.

A Powerhouse Addition

One of the essential features of any player is the ability to read and understand a game. This is even more important in defences, and Dias certainly seemed to be the missing part of the line-up since his arrival last summer. Man City are garnering something of a reputation for having the meanest defence in the English Premier League. This is undoubtedly no coincidence with the timing of his arrival. Previously they were actually flailing somewhat and having a particularly bad run, one of the worst under experienced manager Pep Guardiola. A lot of that is down to the skill shown by this young player; his passing is exceptional at diagonal balls, vertical passes through defence lines and direct crosses. He's been complimented by his ability to quickly cover space and takedown opponents to prevent them from getting the ball. His positive attitude has also worked well with John Stones, who has shown a much better style and together, they have created an excellent defensive line. He has also been able to pick up well on Pep Guardiola's liking of using his defenders to assist the teams attacking potential. Overall, it is certain that his arrival at the club has prevented them from what could've been the worst season of their life. He has undoubtedly assisted them in heading back to the top, where it looks likely they will remain.

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