Manchester City

Fernandinho injured: Now consistent £9m-rated midfielder must step up in his absence

The Manchester City fans were celebrating in the Transfer Tavern on Sunday afternoon after they watched their side dismantle Arsenal at Wembley to record a 3-0 victory in the Carabao Cup final.

After crashing out of the FA Cup against Wigan Athletic earlier in the week, Pep Guardiola’s City slickers faced a huge fixture on the back of their shock defeat, but they rose to the challenge and demonstrated the strength of their winning mentality with a comfortable victory at the home of English football. City’s success in the Carabao Cup was Guardiola’s first as manager of the club, and presumably the first of many, but it wasn’t a completely perfect afternoon for the club.

City claimed a deserved victory, Gabriel Jesus made his long-awaited return from a serious knee injury, and Vincent Kompany rolled back the years with a mammoth display at the heart of City’s defence, however, the injury collected by Fernandinho just after half-time was a notable concern for the club.

According to The Independent, the Brazilian midfield general will be ruled out of City’s next two fixtures against Arsenal and Chelsea with a hamstring injury, so Guardiola is now likely to deploy Fabian Delph (valued at £9 million by Transfermarkt) in his natural central midfield position once he returns from suspension.

Despite being a central midfielder by trade, Delph has spent the majority of this season at left-back due to Benjamin Mendy’s long-term absence with a cruciate ligament injury. During Mendy’s time on the sideline, Delph has consistently provided solid defensive cover in unfamiliar territory and demonstrated a commendable willingness to adapt for the benefit of the team.

Now that Fernandinho has been ruled out through injury, the 28-year-old has a rare opportunity to thrive in the centre of midfield – one which Delph will surely be relishing after months of playing at full-back. The role which Fernandinho plays is pivotal to the balance of the entirety of City’s midfield, so Delph’s task will be far from simple if Guardiola chooses to start him after he has completed his three-match ban, but if his form this season is anything to go by, he is more than capable of stepping up to the challenge.


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