Manchester City will travel to the London Stadium on Wednesday night for their next Premier League match against West Ham United, and there's a huge boost for Pep Guardiola and the whole squad: Fernandinho is back.
The Brazilian midfielder was handed a four-match ban after a second straight red card of the season, but is now ready to make his comeback. Fernandinho has been one of the most consistent players on the team, but recently he's missed eight games in all competitions, and the team has suffered.
Hopefully he's really back this time, and that will certainly benefit the entire team. Just ask Kevin De Bruyne, one of Dinho's mates in midfield, who's really excited to welcome his friend back.
“Obviously we’ve missed him. He’s been an important player throughout his time at City and he plays a pivotal role for us in midfield and helps keep everything organised, plus he’s also very good on the ball.
“Now he’s served his ban and is available for us again, so it’s a big boost for the team because he’s missed seven games this season through suspension."
De Bruyne points out the combined seven-game suspension, and he takes the chance to call the red card rule in the FA dumb. England is the only country in world football that gives people a three-game suspension for a straight red card, instead of one like everywhere else. Sure, it may help keep the game clean and avoid dangerous tackles, but it still seems really harsh to punish someone for three games.
“If you get a red card in England you’re banned for three or sometimes four games, which is unbelievable but there’s not much you can do about it. I think one game is enough but those are the rules, I suppose."
That's a good point. Another good point is that Fernandinho is a beast, full of energy and talent that the team has missed lately. And that's all at the age of 30! Impressive, right Kevin?
“I think Ferna’s one of the best holding midfielders I’ve ever played with and it's worth remembering that he’s 30 years-old. [It's] incredible that he has so much energy – you don’t see that everywhere in players who are 30 so we are very lucky to have him.”
We really are lucky to have Dinho, Kev. You're right.
Just don't get suspended anymore, Ferna. Please?