Who is Guido Rodriguez? The €80m Betis midfielder wanted by Arsenal and Liverpool

Martin Macdonald
Who is Guido Rodriguez? The €80m Betis midfielder wanted by Arsenal and Liverpool

Who is Guido Rodriguez? The €80m Betis midfielder wanted by Arsenal and Liverpool

Guido Rodriguez could be set for a sensational move to the Premier League this summer after excelling in La Liga with Real Betis over the past year.

The 26-year-old has only been plying is trade in Europe for 14 months, having joined Betis from Club America in January of 2020.

However, he has shown enough that elite teams around Europe are sniffing around with the aim of making him a transfer priority at the conclusion of the season.

What position does Guido Rodriguez play in?

Rodriguez plays as a defensive midfielder for Betis, and this can see him be deployed just in front of his defence, or slightly further forward in midfield, though still remaining deep.

How good is Guido Rodriguez?

Rodriguez may be viewed as somewhat of a late bloomer as it has taken him to his mid-twenties to make the big move to Europe, but he has already made a huge impression.

While other young players from South American can take a year or two to adapt, Rodriguez knows his strengths and the defensive midfield position so well that he hasn’t required a period of acclimatisation.

Guido Rodriguez

Guido Rodriguez

Within the 2020/21 La Liga season, he wins the majority of his attempted tackles (65%) and the majority of his duels (54%), while he completes eight ball recoveries per game which is the fifth-best tally of any defensive midfielder in the league.

He is by no means just a midfielder destroyer, though, as he is calm and composed in possession, recording 68 touches on average per game and 52.6 passes per game for a completion rate of 86%.

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Betis have been transformed since his arrival, as he helped them avoid relegation after joining midway through last season, and has now helped develop them into a team in contention for European qualification in 2020/21.

“The central element of this Betis team is Rodríguez,” Seville-based journalist Javier Macias said of Rodriguez.

“A pivot that’s closer to a broom than a footballer, he sweeps up everything and ensures that nothing happens in the space behind him. He’s the garbage truck that cleans the field and leaves the bins full.

“His physicality enables him to cover both sides of the pitch, stealing the ball all over, and with each performance, his distribution is becoming better and more effective.”

What clubs are interested in Guido Rodriguez?

It hasn’t taken long for elite clubs around Europe to start making their interest in Rodriguez known.

Mundo Deportivo reports that Arsenal and Liverpool are looking into the possibility of signing the Argentine this summer through the potential trigger of his alleged £68 million (€80m) release clause.

Arsenal’s interest is believed to be more concrete, as in the same report by Mundo Deportivo they cite that manager Mikel Arteta is not completely satisfied with the form of big-money summer signing Thomas Partey, who is yet to live up to expectations at the Emirates.

Arteta now wants another central midfielder to probably partner Partey to get the best out of the former Atletico Madrid man, with Rodriguez likely to take on the share of the defensive responsibilities in midfield.

Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny are not fully trusted, while Dani Ceballos will likely return to Real Madrid at the expiration of his loan, meaning the Gunners will probably be on the lookout for midfield reinforcements.

The central element of this Betis team is Rodríguez - Seville-based journalist Javier Macias
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The Swiss could move to Roma, also.

Liverpool, meanwhile, will need to delve into the transfer market this summer to replace Georginio Wijnaldum, who has left on a free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.

Though Rodriguez and Wijnaldum are two different styles of midfielder, Liverpool are apparently interested.

Like every club around Europe, Betis have been impacted greatly financially by having no fans in their stadium for a year, and so may be forced to sell some of their prized assets this summer.

So, Arsenal or Liverpool may be able to get him for less than his hefty release clause.

When does Guido Rodriguez’s contract expire?

Rodriguez’s current contract with Betis runs out in the summer of 2024.

What is Guido Rodriguez’s Instagram?

Rodriguez’s Instagram account has 501k followers as of March 2021.

Who is Guido Rodriguez’s girlfriend?

Rodriguez is currently married to and has a daughter with Wada Ramon.