Fernandinho returned to the Manchester City starting lineup on Sunday's Premier League match against Swansea City, and the Brazilian played very solid football again. While the headlines were all about Gabriel Jesus and his heroics, Fernandinho played a very important part in City's dominance in the first half.
We have seen him play as a holding midfielder all season (except during the eight games he's missed through suspension, of course), and he was exceptional most of the time. Fernandinho can run for days, and his energy and defensive capabilities made him a perfect holder.
But during Dinho's time suspended Pep Guardiola found a new holder in Yaya Touré, and the Ivorian continues to impress in the position and made it impossible for the manager to bring Fernandinho in to play his natural position. So against Swansea he lined up at right-back, and although he struggled at the beginning of the match, things got easier for the 31-year-old and Dinho performed up to his usual standards.
It was the first time this season we saw Fernandinho as a full-back, and don't be surprised if he's picked ahead of Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta from now on. It makes sense tactically, Dinho is good enough to play well in any position, and he says he felt good about the new role.
“I am comfortable there. I spoke to Pep last week and he told me he wanted me to play in that position. We tried it, and we will see what his analysis is after the game, whether he liked it or not. I tried to play as he asked me to play. We were better in the first half as we had the ball and didn't concede any counter-attacks.”
Source: Manchester Evening News
Guardiola is used to rotating his team for every match, so if Fernandinho isn't the right-back against Bournemouth on Monday, that doesn't mean he didn't play well and Pep might save that tactical option for future big matches. But if he does start at RB against the Cherries, that means Pep really loved him at the position and he'll be getting a run of games there.
Whatever position Dinho plays, we just know he'll be good at it.