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Opinion: Pep might have lost his top target to Chelsea but Man City desperately need a holding midfielder

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Manchester City still need a holding midfielder after missing out on Jorginho

Manchester City missed out on a chance to sign Napoli’s Italian defensive midfielder Jorginho to strengthen that department ahead of their Premier League title defence next season.

Chelsea eventually bought the player from the Italian club, which would have certainly disappointed Pep Guardiola, even though he denied his displeasure.

The Cityzens still need a holding or a playmaking defensive midfielder to back Fernandinho up. The Brazilian was key to what Guardiola and his tactics did last season, shielding the back-four and winning several second balls to sustain his team’s attacks.

Manchester City missed out on signing Jorginho

However, at the age of 33, one must not expect him to play every game next season and not get tired or injured. So, the Premier League champions will require an able substitute who can play an equal amount of games and impact like how Fernandinho does.

Here’s a reason why City will struggle to cover the Brazilian with current resources:

The squad lacks an able second-choice defensive midfielder

Perusing the options Guardiola has at the moment, no one is probably suited to play the Fernandinho role when needed. The likes of Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva and Ilkay Gundogan are attack-minded midfielders who make the ball talk rather than staying deep to shield their back-four.


This means that the departure of Yaya Toure leaves City with only one recognised defensive midfielder in their squad.

Someone like Jorginho could have been a perfect fit for them, as the Italian can not only protect but also play imperious through balls from deeper positions.

John Stones can be a viable solution

We have seen John Stones being very good on the ball and obviously as a defender, he also knows how to protect the situations pretty well.

So, if Guardiola doesn’t get any replacement target for Jorginho, he might as well try Stones in that deeper anchorman position to support/replace Fernandinho. It sure won’t be a sensible option but the one which can be used in emergency.

John Stones

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City almost have more than one back-up for every department in their squad, however, the one area they lack is the most important part of their jigsaw. So, Guardiola should either sign another defensive midfielder or use Stones whenever he feels a need to change or replace Fernandinho.