With Guardiola still seemingly interested in bringing Alexis Sanchez to the club, whispers in France of a world record bid being prepared for Kylian Mbappe and a Kolarov shaped hole to fill in the centre of defence, it is fair to assume that the club’s spending isn’t over. But surprisingly, it is the club’s cheapest acquisition of the summer that could prove the best piece of business.
Danilo arrived at the club on the 23rd of July for around £26 million pounds after a two year spell at Real Madrid. While at Madrid he won one La Liga title and two Champions Leagues, although he found it difficult to hold down a regular first team place while at the Bernabeu. Many may question Guardiola’s decision to bring a player on the periphery of the Real Madrid team to the club but there is much more to this deal than most originally thought. Not only is he capable of playing in either full back position because of his adeptness with both feet, but he is also comfortable playing in the defensive midfield position which he proved for Santos in the Copa Libertadores in 2011. He played the first leg in centre midfield and the second leg at right back scoring the goal that clinched the title.
This versatility is something that Guardiola requires from players in his squad. It has been well documented that he prefers to work with a smaller group than most managers and Danilo reinforces this idea of having players that can play in numerous positions. By bringing Danilo to the club he has cover for three positions which has allowed four full backs to leave this summer and with Fernando and Delph looking increasingly like they will leave, he has killed two birds with one signing: reducing the size of the squad and providing adequate cover for three positions on the pitch; a very astute acquisition and one that could prove invaluable throughout the course of the campaign.