Manchester City Transfers: Why Fernandinho Would Be a Smart Addition

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Manchester City Transfers: Why Fernandinho Would Be a Smart Addition
Photo via Euro Football / Getty Images

Having failed to chalk up any trophies in the 2012-13 season and lost Roberto Mancini because of it, there's a great chance that Manchester City will be very active over the summer transfer window. 

Especially given the financial backing that they have from Sheikh Mansour.

Claudio Villa/Getty Images

The Citizens will no doubt have several top targets on their radar this summer, but one of the more intriguing players to emerge as a rumored target is Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fernandinho, who made himself a very big name to watch this summer by openly stating his desire to join the club.

The 28-year-old was quoted via The Telegraph as saying:

When asked whether now is the right time to move to England, Fernandinho said: “Yes. There are a lot of people in England with good football knowledge.

“I believe my chances of making the World Cup squad will improve if I join City. My exposure would be better, because Brazil is biased towards the Ukrainian league. What we do here is not recognised in my country.”

Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

With the 2014 World Cup rapidly approaching, it's pretty easy to understand what the midfielder is on about. For despite winning four league trophies in six years and the UEFA Cup as well as appearing in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League on two occasions, Fernandinho simply can't break into the Brazilian midfield ahead of the slew of big-name players who are already in the team.

Who, as it turns out, all play in one of Europe's major leagues and are therefore having their performances broadcast more frequently than Fernandinho.

Photo via uefa.com

So from the player's point of view, wanting to move makes perfect sense. He's 28 and isn't going to get any younger. With the World Cup coming up, this may be his last chance to crack into the national starting team and etch his name into the plans of Luis Scolari.

Plus a move would give him more access to the Champions League than he has had at Shakhtar Donetsk, who made the round of 16 in the 2013 competition.

The biggest question, then, is as to whether a move for Fernandinho makes sense for City. They are, after all, not short on money and can seemingly afford whoever they deem necessary—but is a 28-year-old midfielder who is yet to play for one of the world's top clubs in his career really worth the money?

Is he worth pursuing more than someone like Edinson Cavani?

Having watched City this season, the answer would have to be yes.

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

One of the biggest problems this season for City has been the lack of goals they've scored. They scored a lot more often in 2012 than they have this season and while they have endured some injuries throughout the year, the biggest reason behind their offensive struggles has been the fact that they don't have Yaya Toure chiming into the attack as much.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Toure has become more of a regulation central midfielder than an attacking one, and as a result, the likes of David Silva haven't been as effective.

City's attack—without Toure pulling the strings—hasn't been as dominant as it was last season, largely because of Toure's positioning on the field now.

Have a look at his recent game against West Ham (via Sqwarka).

Despite completing close to 100 passes and controlling City's midfield, Toure essentially played as just a holding midfielder. He was unable to truly get forward and chime in to the Citizens attack, and it was therefore little surprise that the former champions only just managed to get past West Ham. 

Had this been last season, with their possession and territorial dominance, you would expect City to end up winning by three or four goals rather than sneaking home 2-1.

And it's for this reason alone that Fernandinho makes perfect sense for City.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Bringing in the 28-year-old would allow Toure—arguably the best and most consistent player on City's roster—to play the role he does best. Having Fernandinho in behind would allow Toure to push forward and chime into the attack as he does so well which, in turn, would no doubt start to bring about the goals that City have lacked at times this season.

And let's be honest here—it's not like Fernandinho is a poor player.

Especially on the Champions League stage where City performed so poorly this season, the midfielder was simply world class for the Ukrainian champions.

Have a look his numbers (via WhoScored) compared to that of Toure's this season. He is every bit the holding midfielder that the African star is, and a whole lot more.

He is a better defender than Toure, but perhaps most importantly, he would thrive with the 30-year-old of him. Having the other player in the middle of the field to work with, both Toure and Fernandinho would be able to control the tempo of the game and win back possession seemingly at will.

Opposing sides would have to be much more direct against City, which, given their ability to create turnovers, would give them a huge advantage going forward.

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Perhaps the best comparison in terms of English football would be Ramires and Juan Mata at Chelsea who, at their best, can be world-class.

That's the type of impact that Fernandinho and Toure could have at the Etihad Stadium next season—both individually and in terms of team success as well.

If Manchester City can get his transfer costs down to around £20-to-25 million (which is still well above his current Transfermarkt value), then they must pull the trigger over the summer transfer window.

The potential for success is simply too great to do otherwise.

 

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