This article forms part of our Total Duds feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how bad a deal the club got.
La Liga returned earlier this month with a local derby between Sevilla and Real Betis, which the former won 2-0, and the identity of the scorer of their second goal that night may have raised a few eyebrows among Manchester City supporters. The man who put the seal on Sevilla’s victory was a 32-year-old midfielder known as Fernando.
Six years ago, the Brazilian arrived at the Etihad Stadium in a £12m deal from Porto, with Manuel Pellegrini adding him to a midfield which also included Fernandinho and potentially sparking much confusion among supporters and commentators alike.
While the man with the longer name remains an integral figure at the Etihad, his shorter-christened midfield compatriot did not make his presence felt in the same way in a Manchester City shirt. He was by no means a forgotten man under Pellegrini, playing 49 Premier League games in his first two seasons in England, but he managed a meagre return of four goals in those outings. Indeed, they would be his only four goals in 102 appearances in total for the club.
With Manchester City on the verge of reaching a first-ever Champions League final in 2016, Fernando was the player who ultimately nixed those hopes with his fateful own goal in a dour semi-final against Real Madrid, who won 1-0 on aggregate. Four years on, that remains the furthest that the English club have gone in the competition.
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Pep Guardiola replaced Pellegrini that summer and it didn’t take him long to decide that the Brazilian midfielder was not for him. Fernando started only five league matches under the Spaniard, whose obsession with ball retention and a passing game ultimately counted against the midfielder. Fernando averaged only 24.9 passes per game under Guardiola, while his 88.5% passing accuracy rate that season was inferior to fellow midfielders Ilkay Gundogan (91.9%), Samir Nasri (90.9%) and Yaya Toure (89.8%).
In August 2017, Guardiola sanctioned the sale of Fernando to Galatasaray for just £5.4m (as per TransferMarkt), bringing an end to the midfielder’s ultimately undistingushed three-year spell at the Etihad. In the end, the Brazilian just couldn’t meet the lofty standards demanded by the current Manchester City manager.
Man City fans, did you feel short-changed by Fernando’s contribution in his time at the Etihad? Comment below with your views!
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