Manchester City supporters have been somewhat quieter in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their team’s phenomenal unbeaten start to the Premier League season come to an end with a 4-3 defeat at the hands of Liverpool on Sunday.
Pep Guardiola’s men went into their clash with the Merseyside giants having won 20 of their opening 22 league games, with draws against Everton and Crystal Palace the only blots on an otherwise sensational campaign. However, their unbeaten run came to an end at Anfield on Sunday as goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah secured the points for Jurgen Klopp’s side, although the Citizens still retain a healthy 12-point lead at the summit with just 15 games to go.
Consequently, there have been some downbeat City fans in the Tavern this week, although many remain supremely confident of success in the second half of the season, both domestically and on the European stage.
In the meantime though, there has been plenty for our resident Citizens supporters to get their teeth into, not least recent reports outlining that Fernandinho has penned a two-year contract extension at the Etihad Stadium.
And while City have been linked with many players during the January window so far, most notably Manchester United-bound Alexis Sanchez, this is arguably the most important deal they could have done this month.
And that’s because Fernandinho is arguably the most integral player in Guardiola’s team at present, as his efforts in the midfield, patrolling the middle of the park and protecting the back four, allow the front players to produce the sort of attacking brilliance we have seen so far this season.
Having the Brazil international in that central midfield area allows the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva, two artists with the ball at their feet, the license to do what they do best in the final third of the pitch, as opposed to worrying as much about defensive duties.
But it’s not just off the ball that the 32-year-old seriously helps City, it’s on the ball as well, as Fernandinho has often started off attacks from his central midfield position, and is regularly the man to take the ball from defence and move it forward into attack.
And with two goals and four assists so far this season, the Brazilian has even chipped in with important goals for the club, further underlining how influential and integral he is to this side – take him out of the team, and City are unlikely to have the platform from which to play the wonderful attacking football we have seen this season.
The prospect of losing Fernandinho in the summer, let alone on a free, would likely have had a massive bearing on their future success – there’s a reason Guardiola listed him as one of the best three holding midfielders in world football earlier this season.
And while a move for Sanchez would surely have been welcomed, the impact he would have had on this City team is not quite at the same level as the impact Fernandinho makes.
And were the Citizens to indeed add more players to their squad this month, those deals are unlikely to be as important as tying the £13.5 million-rated ace Fernandinho (as per Transfermarkt) down to a new deal.
Man City fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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