Three long-term replacements for Fernandinho
Manchester City are yet to hit the form they showed last season, but the Cityzens have nevertheless picked up 3 wins and 1 draw in their opening four games of the season. Pep Guardiola will be aiming to mount a serious title defence this time around after raising the standards by a mile last season.
The Spanish manager was in the market for a new central midfielder but was unable to acquire his preferred targets in Jorginho and Matteo Kovacic. Fernandinho has been a faithful servant to the blue side of Manchester, but time will come when Man City would need a successor. (Evening Standard)
Guardiola did bring in Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City, but when the January transfer window opens, the former Barcelona coach should go for a defensive midfielder. Here we take a look at three players the manager can go for when the window opens.
Miralem Pjanic (Juventus)
Pjanic is one of the best central midfielders in Europe and currently plies his trade with the Serie A Champions. The Bosnian is a talented passer of the ball and possesses one the most creative football minds in the game.
He is technically astute and can pick a pass in any tight situation. What makes Pjanic even more appealing is his versatility to play as a defensive midfielder as well. Manchester City were linked with the player in the summer window but Pjanic ultimately stayed put (Sport-English).
Juventus might be rebuilding their squad to win titles but could be convinced to sell the Bosnian after spending heavily on Cristiano Ronaldo this summer.
Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
The Portuguese ace has been making a name for himself after guiding the Wolves to Premier League football after joining them for £16m. He opened his account this season with a stunning free-kick goal on the first day of the season, picking up an assist as well.
Neves possesses a wide variety of traits required to flourish in this Manchester City side. Not only is he a set-piece specialist, but Neves is also a clean passer of the ball. He is versatile enough to play as a box-to-box midfielder or as a defensive midfielder. At the age 21, Neves would be relatively cheaper than Pjanic and would serve as a perfect long-term replacement for Fernandinho.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio)
The Serbian is one of the most sought-after players in Europe and is highly talented. He is capable of playing as a defensive midfielder but can also be deployed as a central attacking midfielder.
Savic is the kind of player who is capable of seamlessly transitioning himself into any system and philosophy. He possesses a wide range of passing and can offer defensive cover as well. The Serbian also possesses immense work rate on and off the ball.
City might have to break the bank to acquire his services but at least it’s clear he’s a top-class midfielder.