Man of the match Fernandinho shows why City should look to retain him

Fernandinho was one of premier leaguebest midfielders of the last decade. In fact, he was one of the greatest premier league holding midfielders ever.

But, at 36, the Brazilian’s time at the top of the game is starting to run out, although he has proven on more than one occasion that he is still capable of stepping in when his team needs him.

The Manchester City captain rolled back the years with a stellar display in midfield in their goalless draw with Sporting Lisbon Wednesday night, which earned him another Man of the Match award.

Fernandinho signed a one-year contract extension before the start of the 2021/22 campaign but last night’s showing was another key indicator of why Pep Guardiola can’t afford to let his captain go for the moment.

Experience

There is no player in Manchester Citythe team with more premier league experience than Fernandinho.

The Brazilian arrived at the club before the 2013/14 season and has been a mainstay in the team ever since.

He made 258 premier league appearances to date, as well as 100 Champions League appearances and 20 each in the FA Cup and League Cup.

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Manchester City have already lost a number of experienced locker room players in recent years, including Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Vincent Company.

With a host of young talent rising through the ranks, including Champions League beginners James McAtee, Josh Wilson-Esbrand and Conrad Egan-Riley, the Citizens will want to ensure they have an experienced mentor to help them make the transition from youth football to senior football. Fernandinho is the man for the job.

Capacity

He may be missing a yard of pace from what he had in his prime, but Fernandinho is still an incredibly gifted footballer.

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Fernandinho is unlikely to become a regular in the club’s first team again, Rodri’s fine performances have all but shut the door on that possibility, but with a hectic schedule all but guaranteed for Guardiola’s side, the Brazilian will always have its fair share of action.

At 36, it seems unlikely that Fernandinho will secure a starting spot at another top European club, so if his minutes are going to be limited wherever he plays, it seems odd that he is going elsewhere.

Coaching role

Finally, Fernandinho has been tipped to take on a coaching role at the club once his playing days are over.

By all means, Fernandinho could seek a move away from the club and then return to retirement, no senior official at Manchester City would be opposed to this option.

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However, no other club has the greatest manager in world football at its disposal. Learning from Pep Guardiola will be key to Fernandinho’s progress as a coach. Who knows, he might even take the reins from his boss once the Spaniard calls him a day in East of Manchester.

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