Ahead of Manchester City's trip to Spain to play Villarreal in their Champions League Group A encounter, we profile the home side's playmaker Jonathan de Guzman and his potential to harm the Premier League leaders' hopes of reaching the knockout stage.
Player: Jonathan de Guzman
Date of birth: September 13, 1987
Place of birth: Toronto, Canada
Height: 1.74m (5ft 9in)
Current club: Villarreal
Former clubs: Feyenoord, Real Mallorca
Background: This season Villarreal have failed to replicate their form in the last campaign, which saw them finish fourth in La Liga and qualify for the Champions League. The loss of key playmaker Santi Cazorla to Malaga in the summer and star striker Giuseppe Rossi - recently ruled out for six months through injury - have greatly stifled the attacking threat of Juan Carlos Garrido's team. Not what you want when you are drawn in a Champions League group with Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Napoli.
But in 24-year-old playmaker Jonathan de Guzman they have a player with the ability to guide them out of the Yellow Submarine's early-season malaise.
The Canadian with a Filipino father and Jamaican mother moved to the Netherlands when he was just 12 years old to join up with the Feyenoord academy. After making his first-team debut for the Rotterdam club in 2005, De Guzman quickly established himself as a regular.
Having had his game nurtured in Holland through his teenage years, De Guzman exhibits all the tight technical ability and versatility you would expect of a native Dutchman, and he pledged his international future to his adopted country as soon as he became eligible for citizenship in 2008. He is yet to make an appearance for the senior side - meaning he could still be capped by Canada, the Philippines or Jamaica — but has impressed greatly for the Oranje's U21 and U23 sides.
Despite missing virtually the entire 2008/09 season during an injury-plagued couple of years which saw him undergo two serious knee operations, De Guzman still made 109 Eredivisie appearances during his five years at the De Kuip stadium, scoring 23 goals.
While in the Netherlands he was linked with plenty of clubs in England and Spain - including Chelsea, Newcastle, Manchester City, Valencia, Espanyol and Villarreal - but it was Mallorca who won the battle to sign him on a free in 2010 when his Feyenoord contract ran out.
After just a year, 33 appearances and five goals in La Liga with the relegation-battling Islanders, De Guzman moved to Villarreal, a club more in line with his own ability and ambition, for £7 million.
Netherlands manager Bert van Marwijk has revealed the playmaker is very much in his thoughts, and he will also be at the forefront of Roberto Mancini's mind when he sets his side up against Villarreal at El Madrigal in the Champions League.
|Analysis: (from Villarreal 2-0 Rayo Vallecano on October 29 at El Madrigal)
37' - Wins a penalty for his side after drawing the foul from Javi Fuego in the area.
88' - Forces a fabulous save from goalkeeper David Cobeno in the dying moments after linking up well with Borja Valero inside the box.
Analysis: (from Manchester City 2-1 Villarreal on October 18 at the Etihad Stadium)
3' - First sign of life from the visitors, who try to work some space in the middle courtesy of a determined run from De Guzman.
44' - De Guzman tries a shot from range which goes high in the end, but has plenty of power behind it.
66' - De Guzman combines well with Perez and Valero in a promising move that ends in an offside flag being raised.
76' - He gets underneath Joe Hart's punch and goes for an opportunistic early strike, but he does not catch it quite right and fires wide.
88' - with the game still at 1-1, substituted off after a committed effort, with the weekend's domestic fixture in mind.
Approximate value: £10m