The Manchester City fans were disappointed by their side’s failure to record victory at Burnley on Saturday afternoon, but they are not concerned that it will influence their title bid this season.
Pep Guardiola’s side were uncharacteristically wasteful at Turf Moor last weekend as they missed plenty of opportunities to put the game beyond Burnley’s reach in Lancashire during a frustrating afternoon for the club. Raheem Sterling undoubtedly missed the chance of the game for City as he somehow poked his effort wide of Nick Pope’s empty goal at his mercy.
Despite their missed chances, the supporters clad in blue in the tavern believe the league title remains a formality for the club considering their 13 point advantage over Manchester United. However, Guardiola controversially opted to field just 6 substitutes for their league fixture on Saturday due to injuries throughout his squad, and their mini injury crisis could prove to be a major stumbling block in their bid to claim a historic quadruple this season.
The likes of Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane, Benjamin Mendy and Fabian Delph are all currently sidelined through injury, but an injury to Fernandinho could be City’s most catastrophic blow of the season so far.
During the January transfer window City were strongly linked with Alexis Sanchez, Aymeric Laporte who they eventually signed, and Riyad Mahrez. In addition to the aforementioned targets, City also expressed an interest in Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred (valued at £17.1 million by Transfermarkt) according to The Manchester Evening News.
In the long-term, Fred is a player who has all the credentials to replace Fernandinho as the anchor of City’s midfield when the 32-year-old eventually runs out of steam – although there is certainly no sign of that happening anytime soon.
However, City missed a huge opportunity in the context of their short-term ambitions by not signing Fred this month, as Guardiola has very little by way of direct replacement for Fernandinho in the event that he collects an injury before the end of the season.
It’s more than likely that Fernandinho will be forced to play 3 matches in the space of just 7-10 days when the Champions League returns in February, and the fact Guardiola will not be able to offer his midfield general time to rest could prove to be a detrimental factor in City’s mission to lift four trophies this year.