Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Do Manchester City Already Possess Their Own Mascherano? Pep Reckons So

Must Read
Sourav Bhakat
An ardent sports lover who loves to sleep, eat and watch Manchester City play. In that order.

Fernando Luiz Roza or simply known as Fernandinho joined Manchester City for £34m in June 2013 amidst much scorn from other fan bases who clearly thought the Etihad outfit had overpaid for the midfielder from Shakhtar Donetsk. But over time the club and the player combined to prove their detractors wrong as Fernandinho has time and again proven to be someone who could be relied upon in times of need and has been an epitome of efficiency in the City midfield.

The more illustrious Yaya Toure who has arguably been considered the most important signing of Sheikh Mansour’s era is clearly in the twilight of his career. And his defensive contribution in the midfield in recent seasons has been comical, to say the least, with players passing him by with alarming regularity and ease. As sad as it is, the big Ivory Coast international is considered a liability in the midfield by a section of the fan base. And City have had to pay a few times for seemingly carrying around deadwood in the centre of the park especially when faced against nimble footed midfielders in the opposite ranks.

And the person to have single-handedly averted disaster on numerous occasions has been the ever present and tireless Fernandinho. Manuel Pellegrini’s penchant for playing two in the midfield, and one of them being Yaya opened up vast spaces of grass in the midfield during counters and Fernandinho has had to put in double-shift by sliding into innumerable tackles and breaking up attacks and thereby enabling the jittery defence to heave a sigh of relief and more often than not making up for Yaya’s shortcomings.

Fernandinho is as adept higher up the pitch while joining in attack as he is while protecting the back four. His average pass accuracy is 87% with an average pass length of 16 metres over the 3 seasons at City which illustrates his accuracy and ability to spread the play. His extra workload in defence has not hindered his contribution up the field with an average of 28 chances created per season in the Premier League along with 9 goals to show for his efforts. He has been vital in the Champions League where he has been City’s best performer in quite a few matches most notably in the MOM display in the 2-2 draw against big-hitters PSG.

fernandinho 1 getty

The arrival of Pep with all his rumoured high intensity and technically gifted midfield reinforcements had cast doubts over Fernandinho’s place in the team. But Pep has moved to dispel all those fears as he wasted no time in recognising the indispensability of the Brazilian. What Pep has shown before in his career and has started off in his time at City is his penchant of utilising a particular player in various position. He has the ability to mould a player’s game so that the level of productivity and output is not compromised on and that in turn leads to fluidity and unpredictability of his teams. And he has shown glimpses in the two matches so far by utilising Kolarov at centre-back, Fabian Delph higher up the pitch or the use of Angelino throughout the length of the left-flank, that he is not shy of making it a norm.

Pep’s undisputed success in this regard has been Mascherano in Barcelona. Pep has always reserved special praise for his former player and has spoken of his humility and eagerness to adapt to his ethos. And according to Pep the player most suited to execute this role this City team is Fernandinho. Pep has been forthcoming in his interviews so far and has stressed the ability of the midfielder to play in 10 different positions. He iterated his preference of playing midfielders in the centre back positions as it helps the team play out from the back with a degree of fluidity and invention.

“I think Fernandinho can play in 10 different positions because he has the quality to play wherever.’’’

He can play there (in defence). He is quick, aggressive, intelligent and strong in the air.

“He has the quality to create good build-up play and can play a forward pass, so I think he has the quality to play there.”

The Sky Blues will be hoping Pep succeeds in implementing this move of his, and City might well have their own Mascherano.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Follow Our Tweets On Twitter

Latest News

Manchester United Hold Meeting To Recruit This Ligue 1 Defender: What Will He Add To Ten Hag’s Side?

In a recent report, Foot Mercato stated that Manchester United have held a meeting with AS Monaco defender Axel...

More Articles Like This