Spotlight on... Fernandinho
- 28 January 2016 13:35
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
Fernandinho announced his return to action with yet another stunning display.
Back in October, we mooted the suggestion he was our Player of the Season so far, and he's continuing to provide evidence to justify the argument.
While Argentine ace Sergio Aguero scooped the Man of the Match award in the dramatic Capital One Cup semi-final victory over Everton, the Brazilian certainly staked a strong claim for the accolade.
Aside from netting the equaliser (albeit with the help of a huge deflection), Ferna produced another solid performance in the centre of midfield. It was his first game back after a four-match absence, but he slotted into the side as if he'd never been away.
It's safe to say, he's in the form of his life - and oh, how he's enjoying it.
With a rating of 8.46 out of ten, he was voted Who Scored's Man of the Match against the Toffees. Understandable with stats like these...
Rob Pollard of the Manchester Evening News firmly believes the midfielder was the star of the show, declaring him 'the catalyst for a wonderful night at the Etihad.'
"It was a pleasure to see him back," he wrote. "Fernandinho, who has been absent from City's last four starting line-ups, returned against Everton and gave another wonderful display.
"The Brazilian has been City's best player this season. Energy, stamina, desire – he influences the game at both ends of the pitch.
"He scored City's first in this game, a powerful shot from outside the area that took a deflection, and then gave another performance full of technical quality and pure hard work.
"There were eyebrows raised when City paid £30million to sign him from the Ukrainian league in 2013 but, clearly, the club had him watched closely. He's proven to be a bargain.
"He's been outstanding since he arrived at City but this season it feels as though his influence has increased even further. He's now, perhaps, the club's most important player.
"He's certainly the most consistently brilliant."
ESPN's Simon Curtis echoed the sentiments, deeming Ferna 'pivotal' and handing him a rating of nine out of ten.
Reflecting on the Brazilian's performance, Curtis' article reads: "Part of a vigorous midfield two with Fabian Delph. All action, prodding, prompting and blocking constantly.
"Has an incredible motor, which allowed him to get up and score and get back and defend all night long. Peerless in his energetic chasing down of anything that moved."
When we spoke to Ferna in October, he had featured in every Premier League game, playing the second-highest number of minutes. He had also found the net twice, and made more passes and tackles than any other player.
He told us he was delighted with his start.
In another impressive display, Ferna scored again to double City's lead in the excellent Champions League win in Sevilla.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini was especially pleased with his midfielder's efforts, hailing the Brazilian's attacking and defensive skill.
"I think Fernandinho is very dangerous because he has a lot of pace and he arrives in the other box," the Chilean stated.
"It was one of the reasons we dominated in the midfield because we had Fernandinho and Yaya [Toure] both going forward and just Fernando staying back.
"He and [Raheem] Sterling had a very good performance, as did all the players.''
Ferna went on to pick up the Etihad Player of the Month award for November - his fourth consecutive nomination!.
The City faithful have certainly been impressed with the man captured from Shakhtar Donestk in June 2013; he's now a fans' favourite.
Fernandinho: most underrated player in the country. Dragged us through tonight. Aguero not bad either! This club 💙— View From A Blue (@viewfromablue) January 27, 2016
Wembley again! Great game! Thought Aguero & Fernandinho were top drawer! Last goal was one Nat Lofthouse would have been proud of!! #MCFC— Franny Lee (@FrannyLee7) January 27, 2016
I know Aguero's the main man his goals speak for themselves. But what a player Fernandinho is. Should be more widely recognised.— Dave Brocklehurst (@DaveBrock1979) January 28, 2016
The players love him too - particularly Toure, who has spoken publicly of his admiration for his teammate.
"He's very clever," declared the Ivorian. "Brazilians play pretty, fantastic football and Fernandinho is clever - he anticipates well, he presses well.
"His movement is so good but he can play with the ball as well. Before he came to City, he was at Shakhtar playing in my position - more as an offensive midfielder.
"Sometimes we have some difficulties because when he attacks I have to stay more to protect the defence, but we are doing well and he helps me a lot."
Carry on, Ferna!