The 2020/21 season is already shaping up to be a campaign like no other with a packed schedule testing the staying power and endurance of every squad to the very limit.

Given the gruelling demands on players – with sides such as City more often than not having to shoehorn in three games a week - some observers have likened it to football’s very own equivalent of the Grand National.

Manager Pep Guardiola hasn’t been alone in voicing his concerns about the impact of the relentless schedule.

The City boss has warned that his players are not machines and has pointed to the amount of muscular injuries in particular that have afflicted many individuals already this term throughout the top flight.

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So, with demands on the players' stamina and durability already being tested like never before, City’s cause has received a vital boost thanks to the energy and efforts of midfield anchor Rodrigo, who is already making a compelling case to be dubbed our very own 'Iron man.'

For the 24-year-old has been at the heart of the action for the Club so far this campaign.

The Spanish international has been at the City coal face for 1,051 minutes to date this season, having figured in every second of our eight Premier League games so far, with only ever-present right back Kyle Walker seeing more overall action.

WATCH: Ask me anything: Rodri on Reggaeton, fajitas and Freddie Mercury

Indeed, such has been Rodrigo’s reliability and cast-iron constitution, that from our 13 games across all competitions - also including the Champions League and Carabao Cup - he has been named in the starting line-up in 12.

In the one match that Rodrigo didn’t begin – our Champions League home group game against Olympiakos earlier this month – he still saw action, coming on as a second half substitute.

It’s a remarkable record that not only conveys Rodrigo’s formidable fitness levels and all-round fortitude but also reinforces the faith, trust and confidence bestowed in him by manager Pep Guardiola.

SHOP | OUR RODRIGO RANGE

A disciplined, technically accomplished operator who always puts the needs of the team first, Rodrigo’s crucial task in offering a protective shield to City’s back-line whilst also seeking provide our attacking midfielders with quick possession means his vital contribution sometimes goes under the radar.

But the boss is no doubts as to his importance to the City cause… both in the here and now as well as looking to the long term.

WATCH: Getting to Know: Rodri

"He’s improving a lot. It’s normal, he understands the situations better," Guardiola said of Rodri’s growth and development last month.

"He is starting to read what happens better. Still he’s trying to solve it with his incredible energy, but he is starting to think.

“All of us have the feeling that he has made an incredible step forward in the way we play.”

And with the games continuing to come thick and fast and City facing 11 games between now and the end of the year, there’s no doubt 'Iron man' Rodrigo’s importance to the cause will only be further amplified.