Manchester City’s players returned to training at the City Football Academy this week and, after contact training was approved on Wednesday, major news broke yesterday to confirm that they have timed their return ideally.
The Telegraph‘s Jason Burt broke the news that the Premier League season will resume from 17 June, the night on which the reigning champions are due to host Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium. After nearly three months without a match, Pep Guardiola’s team are now just 19 days away from taking to the pitch again.
One man who seems very happy to be back in action is Fernandinho, with the Manchester City veteran posting an image to Instagram (@fernandinho) which shows him wearing a broad smile during training, with the accompanying caption of “Enjoy the journey”.
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That caption seems an appropriate one for the 35-year-old, who has been a part of most of the club’s vast success over the past decade. Having played for the club 304 times over the past seven years, he has been on board for three Premier League triumphs, five League Cup successes and the FA Cup victory last year. Only the 2012 Premier League and the previous year’s FA Cup triumph eluded him among the club’s major trophy haul from the Abu Dhabi Investment Group era.
Even with Manchester City very likely to relinquish their Premier League crown to Liverpool now that the season is returning and they have just 10 games to make up a 25-point deficit, Fernandinho has every right to feel pleased to be back on the training pitch. His contribution of 1.9 successful tackles, one interception and 3.1 clearances per game put him among the squad’s standout performers for each of those metrics (as per WhoScored), while he has slotted comfortably into a centre-back role after being moved from his traditional defensive midfield position.
Do you think this has been one of Fernandinho's best seasons at Man City?
Whatever the reason for Fernandinho seeming so happy, the Etihad Stadium faithful may well be quite pleased to see the 35-year-old looking the picture of contentment as he and his team-mates gear up for a now-looming return to football.
Man City fans, did you enjoy seeing Fernandinho looking so happy in training? How vital will he be to the team’s remaining fixtures this season? Have your say by commenting below!
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