Manchester City's most important player has been clear for quite some time now. It's not Ruben Dias, it's not Kevin De Bruyne and it's not even last season's top scorer Erling Haaland.
No, it's Rodri, the midfield enforcer who keeps the treble winners ticking.
The Spaniard picked up the first red card of his career when Nottingham Forest visited the Etihad Stadium on 23 September, getting his marching orders for putting his hands round Morgan Gibbs-White's neck.
While City would comfortably hold on to their two-goal lead against Forest, Rodri's subsequent absence has proved crucial. The holding midfielder was given a three-match suspension, missing recent clashes with Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League.
Despite not being simple away fixtures, they were both games City entered as favourites. However, they stumbled to two disappointing defeats, highlighting once again just how crucial Rodri is to Pep Guardiola's system.
How does Manchester City's win rate compare with and without Rodri?
Well, according to Opta, Man City don't fare too well when missing their number 16.
Since making his debut for the Sky Blues in August 2019, Guardiola's men have lost five of 15 Premier League games in which Rodri hasn't featured. That means the all-conquering Man City have lost a third of the league games they have played without their midfield stalwart.
In comparison, Man City have lost just five of the last 67 Premier League games they have played with Rodri in the side - winning 53 and drawing nine of the other 62 matches. The simple maths of that means the Cityzens have lost just 7.5% of those games when the 27-year-old has featured.
That number six role is arguably the only position in which Man City don't have adequate depth. When Rodri is missing, it leaves a gaping void in the heart of the engine room, with Kalvin Phillips' disappointing form and injury woes meaning they don't have a replacement capable of filling in for the former Atletico Madrid man.
Guardiola will be mightily concerned that Rodri's absence will prove detrimental against Arsenal in next weekend's Premier League clash between last season's top two. The sooner they welcome him back into the team, the sooner we will see the Man City of old.
The Premier League games Manchester City have lost without Rodri
Man City first lost without Rodri in 2020 when he was an unused substitute in a 1-0 defeat at Southampton. Che Adams scored his first Saints goal against a City side that had already seen Liverpool take their Premier League title.
Stuart Dallas enjoyed the space left vacant by Rodri's absence to score twice at the Etihad in a 2-1 win for Leeds, who had defender Liam Cooper sent off just before half-time.
A Tottenham side without their own talisman in Harry Kane consigned City to another defeat in north London in 2021, but City would then go the better part of two years without losing a league game with Rodri not involved.
That run was ended when he was rested on the final day of the 2022/23 league season as Brentford nicked a 1-0 win. The loss at Wolves comes four months after that defeat at the Gtech Community Stadium that preceded FA Cup and Champions League glory.
Southampton 1-0 Manchester City
Manchester City 1-2 Leeds
Tottenham 1-0 Manchester City
Brentford 1-0 Manchester City
Wolves 2-1 Manchester City