Let’s talk Nunes Skills Manchester City has secured the services of one of the Premier League’s most proficient ball carriers in Nunes. However, the question remains: where will Nunes fit into Pep Guardiola’s tactical setup?
This question currently lacks a definitive answer, as the talented Portuguese midfielder didn’t establish a fixed position within Wolverhampton Wanderers’ starting lineup. Over just a year, he played under four different head coaches at Molineux, resulting in various roles for the 25-year-old.
Nunes possesses versatility, capable of functioning as part of a midfield duo, on either flank (with a preference for drifting infield), or even as a No. 10. With Kevin De Bruyne sidelined due to injury, he could also be deployed as a box-to-box player. However, until we witness Nunes in action for the reigning champions, the precise plan remains uncertain.
What adds to the uncertainty about his role is that some of his most noteworthy contributions occur in his own defensive half. In matches against Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion, eight of his 11 successful dribbles occurred in deep areas.
Nunes prefers facing the opposition’s goal, capitalizing on space ahead of him to utilize his speed and skill set.
Playing for Manchester City, a team that typically dominates possession and operates in advanced areas, Nunes will need to adjust his style. Against teams employing lower defensive blocks and crowding spaces between the lines, the transition may not be as smooth, and gliding past opponents could prove more challenging.
Guardiola will hope that Nunes’ balance and ball-handling ability will still enable him to penetrate these compact defensive structures further up the field, given City’s possession-centric approach.
As early-season statistics indicate, Nunes is poised to become one of City’s primary ball carriers. However, there’s room for improvement in terms of his end product.
While he was often a key creator for Wolves, he struggled to make a significant impact in the final third in the Premier League. Enhancing his attacking output will be crucial for him to secure a regular place in the lineup.
Nunes possesses the natural talent to substantially elevate his attacking contributions while wearing a Manchester City jersey. With the support and backing of Guardiola, who has previously lauded him as “one of the best players in the world today,” the expectations are high.
It will be fascinating to witness Nunes’ development and how he adapts to his new surroundings at the Etihad Stadium, as he strives to live up to such high acclaim.
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