Manchester City supporters have been making all the noise in the Transfer Tavern so far this season as their side continue their march at the top of the Premier League, which didn’t let up at the weekend as the Citizens eased past Arsenal 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s men went into their clash with the Gunners having won their last eight league games, and knew that victory over Arsene Wenger’s side could take them eight points clear at the top. And they did just that as goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero, and Gabriel Jesus sealed a comfortable win for the hosts, with Alexandre Lacazette’s response midway through the second half not enough to derail the Citizens’ march to a sizable lead at the summit.
Thus, our resident City supporters in the Tavern continue to revel in their side’s incredible start to the season, which is one they hope they can continue when they return to league action after the forthcoming international break.
And one man, who maybe doesn’t quite the plaudits the likes of Aguero, Jesus, and De Bruyne get, but has still been hugely integral for City so far this season is midfielder Fernandinho, who is reportedly close to signing a new deal to remain at the Etihad Stadium.
The 32-year-old made the move the North West back in 2013 and played a key role in helping Manuel Pellegrini’s side win the Premier League in 2013/14, and looks set to play another important part in what Guardiola seeks to achieve at the club.
But with his contract up in the summer, there was some question marks about his future at City, although reports suggest that the Brazil international will indeed pen a new one-year deal to remain at the Etihad Stadium beyond the summer.
And clinching a deal for the midfielder could turn out to be one of City’s best pieces of business in many a time, as Fernandinho provides them with the midfield stability and balance from which the front players can do their stuff in the final third.
City have scored over 50 goals already this season in all competitions, 38 of which have come in the Premier League, with the likes of Aguero, Jesus, Leroy Sane, and Raheem Sterling all in great form in front of goal.
Add in the artistry of De Bruyne and David Silva, and Guardiola has one of the most lethal and feared front lines in Europe, but much of what they do wouldn’t be made as possible without Fernandinho’s presence.
The Brazil international is the one that marshals things in the midfield and helps protect the back three or four, with his defensive adeptness and incredible energy seeing him make an impact in both boxes.
Cool under pressure and composed on the ball, Fernandinho is a reliable and dependable midfielder who releases much defensive pressure off the shoulders of De Bruyne and Silva, who between them have used that to their advantage by laying on a combined 18 assists already this term.
But it’s not just the stuff off the ball, the 32-year-old is clinically underrated on it, with his wide array of passing and ability to get into good positions at good times seeing him score twice and lay on three assists already this season, but ultimately he gives the front players the support they need – he keeps things ticking over in the middle.
Arguably, there are no other players quite like him in the squad at the Etihad Stadium, hence he has started all 11 Premier League games and all four Champions League matches this season – the midfielder is absolutely vital to what Guardiola and City want to achieve this term.
Guardiola himself labelled Fernandinho as one of the best holding midfielders in the world earlier this week, which itself highlights how important it is to tie him down to a new deal – without him, City would unlikely be as effective going forward as they are and have been.
So getting a deal done for the 32-year-old could turn out to be one of their best and indeed most important pieces of business in a long while.
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