Manchester City have pulled off a major transfer coup by securing the services of holding midfielder Fernando for an original fee of just £12 million.
Although Fernando's transfer is not as glamorous and as headline-grabbing as that of Cesc Fabregas' or Alexis Sanchez's, City have been smart in strengthening the area that was their achilles heel in an otherwise successful 2013/2014 campaign.
Manuel Pellegrini was widely criticised for his naivety at the start of his tenure at the Etihad Stadium, a tenure which saw surprise defeats to Cardiff City and Aston Villa. Pellegrini's main issue was his attacking selection which saw the midfield duo of Yaya Toure and Fernandinho often exposed against teams that liked to pack the midfield.
This was a recurring problem throughout the season, as City were controlled by a strong Chelsea side and torn apart by an electrifying Liverpool team. Securing Fernando goes some way to solving this issue, because of his defensive nature.
Fernando is very much in the mould of former favourite Nigel De Jong, and would allow Pellegrini to free up Yaya Toure in a more attacking role, whilst ensuring defensive stability alongside Fernandinho.
Fernando's defensive mindset - although sometimes unattractive - will help to sure up the Manchester City defence, by offering a stronger wall of protection in front of the back four.
Fernandinho and Toure are one of the strongest midfields in world football, however their attacking mentalities have been caught out in the big games, and the inclusion of Fernando will no doubt be effective in providing defensive stability to an attacking midfield.
Fernando's inclusion therefore demonstrates a shift in tactics from Pellegrini, who has acknowledged the need to have a solid defence on which to build a strong attack. This will help prevent City dropping precious points that they should otherwise claim as in the 2013/2014 season.
His signing will also help City compete in Europe, as his experience is vital to building a strong team that can compete with Europe's best. City's vulnerabilities defensively were highlighted by a 'weak' Barcelona team, and Fernando's signing will help to solve City's European issues.
Fernando's transfer, although slipping under the radar, is a crude investment. His defensive talents are exactly what Manchester City needed to help prevent their defensive frailties from becoming exposed.
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