Fresh from Porto and snapped up for a bargain fee of £12 million in 2014, Brazilian midfield enforcer Fernando was originally thought to be one of the buys of the season when he arrived at Manchester City.
In deep need of some midfield muscle following the departure of Javi Garcia in the same transfer window, the 27-year-old seemed the business having just come off the back of eight solid years in Portugal.
Highly sought after and with a big reputation, City fans everywhere couldn't wait to witness some more central talent in their already glamorous midfield.
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Despite all this, the midfielder failed miserably to live up to expectations and spent much of the 2014/2015 campaign either injured or fighting a losing battle with compatriot Fernandinho to play alongside Yaya Toure in midfield.
Often displaying a lethargic playing style and little in the way of agility or speed, it had many Citizens fans thinking: does he fit the Premier League?
A fair assumption, though there were reasons for his below-par performances last term, mainly his reoccurring injury and fitness issues.
BACK FROM THE DEAD
And a fair excuse it certainly seems now. Since the start of the season, Fernando has been one of City's unsung heroes and is finally taking on the role they signed him for - the midfield guard dog.
Protecting the back four immensely; providing the extra man in midfield for dominance; consistently breaking up play; in all these tasks, Fernando has been excellent.
His presence is so important. A fine example of this would be the Sky Blues' 3-1 win in Sevilla last week, during which Fernando played deep to add steal in the centre of the pitch, whilst also freeing man-of-the-match Fernandinho from his shackles.
In short, the rise of Fernando has been a prominent factor so far this season - and now, the Citizens have finally found their replacement for bruiser Nigel De Jong.
The Dutchman was a former City favourite that broke up play expertly and no defensive midfielder since his departure has replaced him - until now. Move over Nigel, Fernando is now officially the new king of City's midfield solidarity.
Manchester City fans: has Fernando been your best central midfielder this season? Let us know in the comments below!
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