Another year, another defender signing for Manchester City. When they lost 5-2 to Leicester City, Manchester City announced the signing of Ruben Dias from Benfica in a swap deal with Nicolás Otamendi. It was a 65 million euros deal for the Portuguese center-back. Otamendi went for 13.7 million euros to Benfica. His height is 6 foot 2 inches, and he is 23 years old. Here are the scout report and the tactical analysis of the Citizens’ latest transfer.

The Portuguese international has played for Benfica since 2016. During the time there, he played 137 matches for the club. He scored 12 goals and grabbed 6 assists during his time in Benfica. His average rating in Primeira League was 7.25. He used to attack from the center. He was also very good at the aerial ball and also creating space from the center. He has been an active player for the attack also. Here is an example of his vision and making space to attack

How Dias operated at Benfica

Benfica is one of the top teams in Primeira Liga. The challenge teams like FC Porto and Sporting CP. They are currently on the top of the table, and they have a 100% win record in the league.  They have won the league 37 times and have been champions league winners twice. They have the formation of 4-4-2 and 4-4-1-1.

Rúben Dias 2020/21 Scout Report tactical analysis tactics

They have the formation of 4-4-2 for most of their time, and in the end minutes, they come back for defense rather than attack. They attack from the center as well as from the wings. This formation helps them press their opponents. The strikers can create a lot of pressure on the defender. This helps Benfica to ease up in the defense.

Rúben Dias 2020/21 Scout Report tactical analysis tacticsThis is an example of the 4-4-2 formation. The strikers are pressing the players in the high area. The midfielders are man-marking the opponents. they also prevent exploiting the space. the opponent needs to be quick and alert to get pass this man-marking.

Benfica was also a team to create chances from the center because they had players with pace.   Dias can be effective for aerial balls because of his height. He is like the man which you want inside the penalty box for receiving the corner. Here is an example of it.

Rúben Dias 2020/21 Scout Report tactical analysis tactics

No one is marking Dias and he has the perfect opportunity to get in the box and score the goal. Dias finds the space in front of him and he dashes inside to take the header. Dias has been a vital player for the attack as well as during the transition from attack to defense.

Dias is a really strong defender and being in the center-back position helps the team on both sides. He sometimes defends on the right and sometimes defends on the left. He has 68% accurate tackles more than 100 clearance in the whole season. He is very strong aerially and an aggressive defender, without getting on the wrong side of the referee’s whistle. He has more than 50% successful aerial duels throughout the campaign.

Ruben Dias also helped to create a lot of attacks. He was the engine for creating attacks from the center as well as from the wings

Rúben Dias 2020/21 Scout Report tactical analysis tactics

This above map shows Dias’s passing and also the successful passes. He has 86.1% successful passes. They are all over the ground. He not only plays in the center but also supports the wing. his long passes have a 93.2% successful rate. Benfica had a very strong defense which was helpful in the attack also. Dias was one of them

Rúben Dias 2020/21 Scout Report tactical analysis tacticsWhen Benfica wants to do high pressure, Dias used to be the last man standing near the half-line. He is an integral part of the last line of defense. Benfica had every player on the opponents half for pressure except Dias. Dias also makes space wide when they are starting from behind. Here is an example

Rúben Dias 2020/21 Scout Report tactical analysis tactics

As you can see in the picture, the keeper is having two options on both sides, they are playing in a diamond position, Dias is getting wide on the right flank to create more space for the attack. Benfica was taking advantage of the space and the width created during the play by Dias. He would be the playmaker from behind.

Rúben Dias 2020/21 Scout Report tactical analysis tactics

When the opponent gets a through ball, Dias anticipates the space they are going to exploit, He then gets to that space and gives pressure to the opponents so that he is not able to pass back in the center. The above picture shows how Dias is going towards the space to stop the player to get the ball near his penalty box. He doesn’t let the player pass him. He puts enough pressure which leads to outside.

Rúben Dias 2020/21 Scout Report tactical analysis tactics

Dias is a playmaker. He starts from behind to create an attack. he sees the player, space he has, and then gives them a creative pass to start the attack. Here is an example. Dias has the ball and he knows his player is in the center and no one is marking him. He gives the pass in the space to his player to create an attack.

Dias possible role at Manchester City

Pep Guardiola has made Manchester City one of the top teams in club football. However, he is still not been able to win the Champions League with the English club. Pep tactics and strategies are known all over the world. His idea is to be spread vertically and horizontally at all times. The full-backs move towards the inside when the attacking midfielders take up advanced positions between the lines. Pep wants to have possession and would also want to do counter attacks whenever it is possible.

His ideal formation is 4-3-3. Signing Dias would give a really good boost to the defense. He will be a vital player for the attack and also for coming back to defend. The fullbacks are always in the opponent’s half to provide the attack. Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker are the fullbacks that attack from the wing. The second formation was 4-2-3-1. A lone striker supported by three behind him. 

Rúben Dias 2020/21 Scout Report tactical analysis tactics

You can see Mendy at the left flank trying to create space. Dias will be the one to hold the defense if the opponent counter-attack. Dias will also provide support to the midfield during attacks. He will also be good in one on one. 

Rúben Dias 2020/21 Scout Report tactical analysis tactics

This is the formation they play. 4-2-3-1. City tries to make the ground small while defending. They get vulnerable on the flanks. They use the square formation. They start from the goalkeeper and thy play from the center to the flanks in a square shape.

Rúben Dias 2020/21 Scout Report tactical analysis tacticsThis is an example of making the ground small during the defense. They play the square shape during the attack from their half. While they are in the center the fullback goes to the wings making space to collect the ball from the center. Dias would also be able to make the space wide. In Benfica, he used to get to one of the wings to make the ground big and more options for attacking. Manchester city might use Dias’s strategy for making more space and more width when they are starting from behind.

Rúben Dias 2020/21 Scout Report tactical analysis tactics
Dias Heat Map

This heat map can tell us that Dias plays from behind and in the center. He is a right foot player so he creates the gameplay more to the right side.

Dias is a player that would be used to protect the center from a counter-attack. In his first match for Manchester City against Leeds, he had 60% successful duels. he also had 90% passing accuracy. he played as a right-center back with Laporte.

Preferable Lineup

Dias was given the debut against Leeds United in the premier league. The formation was  4-3-3. At the end of the same, the formation was 4-2-3-1. Dias was given number 3. He played with Laporte. he was the right center back whereas Laporte was left center back.

Rúben Dias 2020/21 Scout Report tactical analysis tactics


It was a pretty analyzed lineup by Pep. Ruben would be a support for Walker on the right as well as the support to Rodri. Dias would not be told to change his position until and unless it’s required due to injuries. Manchester City can be lethal with Dias in the upcoming fixtures. Its the premier league anything can happen.


Dias becomes City’s third signing of the summer after center-back Nathan Ake from Bournemouth and Spanish winger Ferran Torres. Dias might be the replacement of the former captain Vincent Kompany who left the club nearly 18 months ago. The Premier League would be more interesting to see with these new signings. According to the analysis, Dias might give a boost to the defense of Manchester City. His debut was good. The match ended a draw but he had a decent number of chances and also a good amount of work on the defense side. During the game, he had 8 interceptions and 4 clearances. His rating is 6.7 and had 82% successful passes.

He will learn a lot from one of the best managers. Man City has signed a lot of defenders and maybe this will be the key to a good defense. Dias becomes just the latest in a string of expensive defensive signings, totaling over 450 million euros since Guardiola was appointed in 2016.