Manchester City supporters have been in fine voice in recent times after seeing their side maintain their unbeaten start to the new Premier League season at the weekend.
Pep Guardiola’s men went into their clash with newly-promoted Fulham having won three and drawn the other of their opening four league games, and thus full of confidence ahead of the visit of Slavisa Jokanovic’s Cottagers. And the Citizens eased to victory at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday as goals from Leroy Sane, David Silva, and Raheem Sterling sealed a routine 3-0 success for the champions, thus keeping them two points behind early pace-setters Liverpool and Chelsea.
As such, there have been many delighted City fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are eagerly anticipating their side’s Champions League opener against Lyon this evening.
And two men in particular look set to be of interest to Guardiola and the club’s hierarchy when they face the French giants tonight, namely Lucas Tousart and Tanguy Ndombele, the latter of whom looks tailor-made to be the perfect long-term replacement for Fernandinho at the Etihad.
Ultimately, Brazil international Fernandinho has been an incredible servant to the Citizens since his move from Shakhtar Donetsk back in 2013, with the midfielder going on to appear 237 times for the club, helping them win three Premier League titles and many other domestic trophies along the way.
And the 33-year-old played a vital part in Guardiola’s record-breaking side last term to further underline just how important he is to this City team, with it arguable that there is no-one quite like him currently at the Etihad Stadium.
However, Fernandinho isn’t getting any younger and at 33 it very much remains to be seen how much longer he has left at the top of the game, which will surely be of concern to Guardiola given that the Brazilian adds a huge amount to his side.
But that is where 21-year-old Ndombele comes in, as the Frenchman appears to have all the traits to usurp the role of Fernandinho, and thus become the 33-year-old’s long-term replacement at City.
The young midfielder made the move to the Ligue 1 outfit permanently earlier this year after enjoying a fine spell on loan at the club in the 2017/18 season, with the France Under-21 international appearing 32 times in the league to help them to a third place finish.
And during that time, he underlined his capabilities in the middle of the park both on and indeed off the ball, laying on seven assists in 32 league appearances to emphasise his excellent vision and eye for a pass, at the same time doing the business defensively in helping to break up the play and providing a platform from which the front players can perform – that sounds exactly like the role Fernandinho plays at City.
And a good performance against Guardiola’s City at the Etihad this evening could well convince the Citizens chief to lure him to the Premier League champions, a move which would give him the ideal long-term replacement for Fernandinho.
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