Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher says he would pick Arsenal’s Declan Rice ahead of Manchester City’s Rodri if he was forced to choose between the two players.
Writing in his column for The Telegraph, Carragher admitted that the Spaniard has been a key part of the Premier League champions’ recent success but he says he can’t look past Rice:
“There is no bigger compliment I can give to Rice than this: I would rather have him in my team than Rodri.”
“The Manchester City midfielder has been arguably the best player in the Treble-winning side, alongside Erling Haaland and Bernardo Silva, and he scored the winner in the Champions League final. He is a brilliant player, but I would still rather have Rice.”
Carragher’s argument doesn’t really hold up to scrutiny
The former Liverpool defender cited Rice’s personality and his lack of injuries as reasons why he feels the former West Ham captain is better than Rodri. He says he has a special “aura” much like Roy Keane.
However, if we look at the actual evidence, there can be only one winner out of the two. Rodri has won 3 Premier League titles since arriving at the Etihad in 2019, as well as 6 other trophies, including the Champions League.
On top of that, City’s win ratio when the Spanish international starts is 73.3%, while it is just 52.9% without him. Rather than some abstract “aura” that Carragher associates with Rice, Rodri’s impact is there in black and white.
City still need to find a way to play without Rodri
The Cityzens have not won a game when the 27-year-old has been absent this season, and his team lost against Villa on Wednesday night as he served a one-match ban.
Manager Pep Guardiola has since admitted that he needs to come up with a solution so his team can cope when Rodri isn’t playing. For now, though, fans will have to pray that he stays fit and available for the rest of the campaign.