With Manchester City reportedly closing in on sealing a $50 million move for Argentine defender Nicolas Otamendi, what can we expect?
[ MORE: Latest transfer news ]
The 27-year-old has experience in both Portugal and Spain with FC Porto and Valencia and over the years he has developed into a powerful center back who is superb in the air for a man who is six foot tall.
Think of someone like Roberto Ayala as a comparison and you are very close to the mark when it comes to Otamendi.
For Valencia, he was one of the main reasons for their success last season — they conceded just 29 goals in 38 games, the second best record in La Liga — as Otamendi helped them qualify for the UEFA Champions League in his first season in Spain after spending four seasons at Porto up until 2014. His aerial ability is strong, but perhaps his biggest upside is his mentality and willingness to throw himself in where it hurts.
In a video below from Scout Nation, you can see Otamendi dispossessing the likes of Lionel Messi and others La Liga stars numerous times, as he likes to keep a low center of gravity but is not afraid to jump into tackles and step up high to engage the opposition center forward.
After the superb start to the season for City and both Vincent Kompany and Eliaquim Mangala forging a superb partnership in central defense, it may be tough for Otamendi to step right in if he moves to the Etihad Stadium in the coming days. However, you do not spend $50 million on a center back if you’re going to sit him on the bench, right?
Otamendi is a left-sided center back and will therefore compliment Kompany perfectly who prefers the right-hand side. However, both players like to step up high and stride out of defense with the ball so there will need to be clear communication for this partnership to work. You would feel a little sorry for Mangala to lose his spot to Otamendi after his bright start to the new season, but with his aggression, ability to play out of the back and supreme aerial ability, the Argentine center back seems a perfect fit for the PL. Plus, with his international teammates Martin Demichelis, Sergio Aguero and Pablo Zabaleta around at the Etihad, he is likely to settle in quickly.
Have a look for yourself, below.