Fernandinho, or Fernando Luis Rosa if you prefer, is expected to join Man City for a fee in the region of £25m (but really, who knows. I suspect we may never find out the true fee). It's a hefty fee for a player who is 28 years old but, as with the signing of Jesus Navas, Fernandinho fills a team need for Manchester City and the hefty price tag may have been a premium that needing paying.
Who Is Fernandinho?
Age 28 (4/5/85)
Clubs Atletico Paranese, Shaktar Donetsk
Fernandinho joined the Ukranian Giants in 2005 for a fee of £6.8m and has since gone on to win 4 league title in his time with Shaktar. Fernandinho is a player with just 6 Brazil caps to his name. It has been widely reported that his move to Man City- a higher profile club- dovetails nicely with his ambitions to be included in the Brazil squad for the 2014 World Cup.
Not many of us can profess to know too much about Fernandinho. He is something of an unknown quality to the average fan who may have only seen the player in fleeting glimpses during CL games or on the live Bet365 feeds. Never to fear though, there are people who have written about Fernandinho and what he offers long before his transfer to man City broke yesterday. below is an amalgamation of many of those scouting reports and player profiles.
A good athlete who's main physical attributes are pace and a box-to-box engine. Fernandinho can be classed as a 'box-to-box midfielder'. This basically means he is a modern midfielder able to tackle and break the oppositions attacks, move across the field of play at pace, able distribute the ball effectively, able to execute medium to long passes and to actually shoot. That is the MO of the modern midfielder, and without being too critical it's clear that Javi Garcia, De Jong and Barry do not possess all of the listed attributes.
Fernandinho is a complete midfielder who is mid-prime in terms of performance levels and Man City have thus paid a premium for his skill set. Fernandinho initially started out as an attacking midfielder at Atletico Paranese but upon his arrival in the Ukraine he was gradually shifted into midfield. Any likely attacking prowess - forward movement, and plus level shooting ability - was likely honed in Brazil, his tactical awareness, passing range and anticipation in breaking up attacks was forged in his time at Shaktar.
Man City should reap the benefits of this multi-faceted, long term apprenticeship.
52 goals and 51 assists (league only) in his time at Shaktar point to a player who can do a little of everything, albeit against a weaker quality of opposition in the Ukranian League. His performances in the CL in 12/13, and especially at Stamford Bridge, were an excellent snapshot of range of skills and the peak level of his performance.
Do read this extensive scouting report on Fernandinho (link)
Standard best of video replete with ear bleeding soundtrack.
We've touched on Fernandnho's style of play so let's now take a look at his career numbers.
Data is a little difficult to find for the Ukranian League so we have to make do with this:
This is Fernandinho's goals and assist number normalized to a per 90 minutes format.
That appears to be a trend in terms of his declining goals output. But how much do we know about that decline? We don't know what position Fernandinho was deployed in during 07/08 when he had his best season to date. We don't know what happened this season with only 0.09 goals per 90.
Fernandinho last two years at Shaktar were his best in terms of assists per 90 and if we marry up his assists and goals it may well point to a player who was played deeper in midfield and relied upon to create from deeper positions rather than burst into the box to finish of attacking moves.
Again, how much do we really know about his position on the field? If i were to take a guess, i would say he has been increasingly trusted to play at the heart of the midfield and as he has matured with age he has become a better all-round player, entrusted with more responsibility in the midfield engine room, and this may not always show up in goals and assists.
Champions League Form
These numbers are more detailed, but there is only two years worth of them. It's just not enough data to draw any real conclusions.
|Shots||Giveaways||Takeaways||Pass Rate Per 90||Pass Accuracy %|
Just the two seasons, 4 games played in 11/12 and 8 games played in 12/13. So 12/13 in the CL is the bigger sample size and more likely to be trusted than 11/12. 12/13 shows some nice things.
His shots number is good for a midfielder, giveaways (dispossessed + intercepted) are far far lower than his excellent takeaways (times he intercepted + dispossessed the opposition) number. Fernandinho's pass rate per 90 is up year on year and so is his accuracy.
All told his 2012/13 numbers are very nice indeed and are testament to the scouting reports which spoke of a 'complete box to box' player.
The long rumoured transfer saga about Fernandinho is over. He is, for all intents and purposes, a Man City player. But how much did he cost? We may never know, but whatever the price may be he may be worth it if he can stay fit.
Fernandinho is 28 years old, a mature skilled player and Man City have undoubtedly paid a high premium for the his mid-to-late peak years. If his performances can be expected to dip slightly around the age of 32 that gives Man City 3 to 4 years of top performance from a multi skilled player who can play at the very highest level.
£25m for 4 years of performance from a player who doesn't need nurturing or developing and who has the skills to play in the modern midfield with all it's demands/complexities is a pretty good deal in my book. Complete midfielders like Fabregas or Toure or Schweinsteiger don't appear on the market very often. If they do, you have to pay the premium for them.
Man City paid £24m for a 27 year old Yaya Toure and whilst Fernandinho doesn't have a CV like Yaya's or quite the same bulldozing style, Fernandinho signing, if he is the excellent player he is advertised to be, could be just as important to Man City's ambitions.
We just don't know enough about Fernandinho to say he is an outstanding talent or that he belongs in an elite group of 'complete' midfielders, but having spent £25m on 4 peak years of performance, Man City are betting a lot of money that this is a player who belongs in the elite midfielders group.
We wait and see but my gut instinct says this may well be Man City's most important signing of the transfer window. A box to box midfielder with great pace who can read the game defensively, shoot and has a wide range of passing skills? Sounds like an excellent compliment to the wrecking ball that is Yaya Toure despite some worries about who will actually do the defensive dirty work that Barry did.