The Manchester City supporters have been waxing lyrical about plenty of individual performances this season, not least about the remaining stalwarts of the old guard who continue to play an instrumental role in the club’s progression into a European superpower.
The likes of Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Fernandinho have overseen some huge changes at the Etihad Stadium over the years, but it’s unlikely they ever believed they could achieve the level of dominance they have reached so far this season. Pep Guardiola has lived up to his reputation and installed a brand of football which is almost impossible to contend with, and its success certainly owes a great deal of credit to the role which Fernandinho plays.
The Brazilian international operates almost on his own at times in central midfield whilst City’s other midfielders foray forward and dominate proceedings in the final-third, but at 32-year-old, it’s likely that his ability to perform his role will become increasingly more difficult in the not too distant future.
With that to consider, Guardiola will certainly be scouting the European transfer market, and potentially beyond, for a player who can replace Fernandinho in the years to come, however, he may not need to venture to far away to find his perfect successor.
City have been linked with a move for Shakhtar Donetsk’s midfielder Fred for at least 6 months now, but recent reports from The Daily Telegraph suggest that Manchester United are now favourites to secure his signature after City cooled their interest.
The report also claims that City have been scouting Borussia Dortmund’s highly-regarded youngster Julian Weigl, but they would also be wise to begin an intensive scouting mission on Leicester City’s 21-year-old midfielder, namely Wilfred Ndidi.
Ndidi has been a revelation at the heart of Leicester’s midfield since he signed from KRC Genk in January 2017, and the rate of his development suggests he could easily slot into a top-four club in the near future. For Guardiola, Ndidi represents the perfect project – he has proven his ability in the Premier League in a very short space of time, but he is far from the finished article right now.
By signing Ndidi at a young age, Guardiola will be given the opportunity to both mould him into the player he wants him to be and to catalyse his development whilst he plays alongside some of the best players on the continent.
The Nigerian international possesses the technical and physical ability to replace Fernandinho in the long-term, so City should prioritise his signature above all other transfer activity next summer before one of their European rivals signs him up from under their noses.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!