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Expectations For 14/15: Fernando

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The signing of an octopus should give Man City more flexibility and midfield options. His arrival could also free Toure from any defensive options.

Questions

Who is he?

27 yo, defensive midfielder with box-to-box potential. Spent tha majority of his European career at Porto.

How much did he cost?

£12m.

So he cost the same fee that we sold Javi Garcia for?

Yes, and that is probably some good business on City's part.

Is he an upgrade over Javi Garcia?

Yes, he probably is. He seems to be quicker over the ground, more agile and has a more expansive, and far braver, passing range than Garcia did.

Fernando's best attributes?

Difficult to give a fact based answer. From small viewings and pre-season form (not nearly enough games) he seems to be treat the ball as less of a live hand grenade than Garcia did. Quicker, stronger, more expansive, always available as an out-ball for his defenders. Seems to be a wizard in removing the opposition from possession.

What can't he do?

Probably isn't that expansive in an attacking sense. Doesn't seem to have to much finishing ability or too many attacking instincts. But he won't be asked to do too much attacking anyway.

Is there a place in a modern midfield for one dimensional midfielders?

I think he is likely a little better than a Nigel De Jong but it would be unfair to compare him to the two-way Fernandinho. Fernando will be asked to contribute more on the defensive side of the game, to shield, to dispossess and to shift the ball in an efficient manner to a team-mate more skilled in creating attacking opportunities.

Will his signing allow for a change in midfield shape?

It is possible that Pellegrini runs with a 3 in midfield in certain games and Fernando will be a big part of that midfield 3. If played in that system, Fernando will hold which will allow Fernandinho and Toure more license to roam forward and create attacking opportunities if needed.

Fernando, and his style, gives City some flexibility, some options.

Will he settle quickly?

We don't know, but he is 27, an experienced player and likely a more mature individual than any young midfielder may be.

How many league games will he play?

I'm guessing here: 20, including subs.