Fernandinho: Manchester City's key signing


Manchester City signed Brazil international Fernandinho from Shakhtar Donetsk for a fee of £30m last week.

However, with such a large price tag comes the inevitable scrutiny, and several factors must be considered in order to assess Fernandinho's potential to light up the Premier League next season.

Playing career 

It is rare to find a player, in this day and age, who appears to possess all the abilities that make up the perfect midfielder. However, City may have just found such a gem in Fernandinho.

This guy is a brute, with driving runs and an exceptional array of passing. His performance against Chelsea is particularly noteworthy. He destroyed them: orchestrating or scoring all four of the goals that Chelsea conceded over the two legs.

However, although this is one example of Fernandinho proving himself against Premier League opposition, this has hardly been a regular occurrence. He has played in the far weaker Ukrainian League for eight years. This could mean one of two things: a) that he has lacked the quality for a big transfer and therefore has little top-level experience or b) more optimistically, that the Brazilian is simply a slow-burner who is now ready to set fire to world football.

Obviously, the Etihad Stadium faithful will be hoping that it is not the former which turns out to be true.

International career

Critics of this signing will make reference to an individual who has consistently struggled to break into the Brazilian national squad. He has only made five appearances for the five-time world champions, which is not exactly impressive for a man of 28-years of age.

There is no real answer to this question, except from the fact that other players simply appear to be preferred by Brazil's coaches. Players such as Paulinho, Ramires and Lucas Leiva (when fully fit and not suspended) are all examples of preferred players who play in similar roles to the new City signing.

Where will he fit in?

This is just the problem: we have no idea, as Manchester City have no manager at present.

They could be making a purchase that the incoming boss will simply have no use for, destroying the player’s career. However, it is believed that Fernandinho’s quality will shine through and that the change of manager will not prove to be too much of a sticking point. 

Something City have needed for several seasons now, since Nigel De Jong’s departure, has been a real holding midfielder who can crush the opposition and break up the play.

Fernandinho could be that man. City have weakly attempted to fill the role with the overrated Gareth Barry, the struggling Javi Garcia and the inexperienced Jack Rodwell. Now, the best option for any potential Manchester City manager would be to play a dedicated wide 4-2-3-1 or 4-5-1, thus allowing Yaya Toure to do what he was born to do: charge at the opposition, something which he has had limited success with due to the lack of a quality holding midfielder.

Fernandinho will also grant David Silva to express himself to his fullest potential, without the fear of being overrun at the back. If City follow the Brazilian’s signing up with the anticipated arrival of Jesus Navas and Isco (if Manuel Pellegrini is named as manager), then City simply have to be favourites for the title next year, especially with their superb defence, Sergio Aguero in attack and the mighty Joe Hart in net.

It is safe to say that City’s title rivals Manchester United and Chelsea should be very afraid of this signing and should prepare their teams accordingly.


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