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Man City’s midfield general could become another unlikely defensive success story under Guardiola

The Manchester City fans in the Transfer Tavern were in fine spirits this weekend following their side’s tenth successive victory in the Premier League.

Pep Guardiola’s men once again produced a dominant display to dispatch of Claude Puel’s Leicester City 2-0 on Saturday afternoon. The Citizens opened the scoring on the stroke of half time in the shape of a tap-in for Gabriel Jesus, following a brilliant one-touch passing move involving Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva. And De Bruyne then produced an astounding strike from the edge of the area to ensure City would return to Manchester with three points, and with their eight-point gap over Manchester United firmly in tact.

However, City did return with a serious looking injury to John Stones, which Guardiola has confirmed will rule the England international out of action for up to six weeks.

In the light of the injury news, reports from The Daily Mirror have linked Southampton centre-back Virgil Van Dijk with a move to the Etihad Stadium. The same report also claims that Van Dijk has his heart set on a move to Liverpool, who have been in pursuit of his signature since the summer transfer window.

And if Van Dijk were to opt for a switch to Anfield over the Etihad in January, then Guardiola may need to deploy Fernandinho at centre-back if they find themselves short of cover in that position.

City’s Brazilian midfield general has demonstrated fantastic defensive abilities throughout his four-year spell at the club, and even enjoyed a run of games at right-back for the club last season.

Fabian Delph has already proven that he is capable of adopting an unfamiliar position and thriving in it whilst deputising for Benjamin Mendy recently, and his successful spell at left-back will give Guardiola encouragement to experiment with Fernandinho at centre-back.

Vincent Kompany’s recent record with injuries is a genuine cause for concern at the Etihad, and if he suffers another set-back in the coming weeks, City will be left with only two recognised central defenders for the time being.

Injuries and suspensions to City’s defenders may force Guardiola to once again think outside the box with his team-selection, and play Fernandinho in an unnatural defensive position in order to solve a defensive crisis – a position he could well thrive in.

Man City fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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