Manchester City’s pitiful attempt to regain their Premier League crown will no doubt lead to a summer overhaul of the Citizens’ squad.
The first of these forecast big-money moves could see Roberto Mancini dip into Shakhtar Donetsk’s reserves of Brazilian talent by making a £23m bid for Fernandinho.
The playmaker is one of the stars of the Ukrainian outfit, who claimed the domestic title for the fourth year in succession after drawing 1-1 with Metalist Kharkiv last time out.
In addition to accustoming himself with how to win a league in Ukraine, Fernandinho also boasts ample Champions League experience. Chelsea found out what an asset he can be on Europe’s biggest stage when he played a pivotal role in their costly 2-1 defeat at the Donbass Arena.
A marked improvement in the Champions League is imperative if Mancini plans on keeping his seat in the City dugout. After two hugely disappointing forays into the competition thus far, players of this pedigree are the sort that the de-throned champions must invest in.
While Fernandinho can operate successfully playing off the striker, City would likely deploy him in a deeper position to cater for Yaya Toure’s return to the more advanced role that was so effective in the club’s title win last term.
Shackling the powerful Ivorian in a more natural central midfield role, limiting the amount of devastating charges he could make can take a large portion of the blame for City’s reduced number of goals this season.
With Fernandinho carrying out these duties, City can get the ball from back to front much quicker owing to the player’s superb passing ability, allowing them to exert pressure on opponents with greater frequency and intensity. This is something notably lacking from their game when playing Jack Rodwell or Javi Garcia in central midfield, for example.
However, even without a deep-lying playmaker on board, City are still heavily fancied to add the FA Cup to their trophy cabinet; they’re 2/5 to beat Wigan at Wembley.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date