A perfect Fernandinho replacement: Man City signing this Ligue 1 powerhouse would be shrewd by Guardiola

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Manchester City opinion: Should City sign Lucas Tousart?

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are now the favourites to retain the league title after Liverpool slipped against Everton on Sunday. The Blues are a point ahead of the Merseysiders and with 9 games to play, it will be a tough but exciting fight to the finish.

One of the main concerns for Guardiola will be the injury to Fernandinho. The Brazilian hobbled off in the win against Chelsea in the final of the Carabao Cup and is yet to recover.

Fernandinho is arguably the most important player at Manchester City and with the former Shakhtar Donetsk man turning 34 in less than two months, City would need a replacement in the summer. Lyon’s Lucas Tousart would be an ideal fit for the champions.

Having come through the ranks at Valenciennes, Tousart joined Lyon in 2015. He made his debut for the first-team in December 2015 in a 2-0 home loss to Angers. That became his only appearance for the side that campaign but became a regular in the following season.

Tousart made a formidable midfield pairing with Corentin Tolisso before the latter moved to Bayern Munich. Tousart has since been a mainstay in the Lyon side and has made 30 appearances already this season.

Technically brilliant and physically strong, Tousart is a perfect example for a modern-day holding midfielder. He has the ability to act as a shield when required or be direct with his driving runs or long passes.

His transition from defence to attack is extremely quick and would thrive under Pep Guardiola.

The 21-year-old, like Fernandinho, is a brilliant tackler and uses his frame to guard the ball from his opponents before using his quick feet to find and utilise space. Tousart’s positional awareness is outstanding and his reading of the game makes him a fine prospect.

Tousart, in his 21 appearances so far in Ligue 1, averages 3 tackles per game and 1.1 interceptions per game. With 1.4 successful aerial duels won per game, he is a dependable midfield general and isn’t one to shy away from challenges.

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Conclusion

Manchester City’s need for a defensive midfielder is obvious and with Fernandinho not getting any younger, Lucas Tousart will be a brilliant fit. Still only 21 years old, the Frenchman will have to adjust his game to fit into Pep Guardiola’s system but under the Spaniard’s guidance, he will be a top player for City.

Shamanth Jayaram

24-year old Electrical engineer turned football writer, born and brought up in Bangalore.

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