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Fernandinho dubbed ‘ultimate defensive midfielder of this era’

Fernandinho - Manchester City
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The Brazilian is one of the most pivotal pieces in Pep Guardiola’s set-up but his efforts often go unnoticed, argues an ex-Man City skipper.

Fernandinho might be struggling for playing time this season but he has been an ever-present figure in the Manchester City team ever since his arrival back in 2013.

It is the former Shakhtar Donetsk man’s versatility, one of his strongest strengths, that makes him slot so elegantly and effortlessly in the Sky Blues line-up, with the player well capable of operating from the middle of the park as well as the heart of defense.

A total of 320 appearances has been made by the hard-working Brazilian in his stay at the Etihad so far, with three Premier League titles, among other trophies, coming his way.

“He’s the ultimate defensive midfielder in this era,” former club captain  Richard Dunne told the club’s official website.

“Having him as the organiser is so, so valuable. Even when he plays centre-half, he’s missed in midfield!

The 35-year-old’s playing time has been limited to just seven games due to a thigh problem sustained in Man City’s Champions League opener.

“Fernandinho has been sorely missed when he’s out,” Paul Dickov, a guest on ‘We’re Not Really Here’, City’s live matchday show, added.

“He didn’t get the credit that he deserved initially, but he’s the unsung hero of the team really.

“He breaks things up and lets the [Kevin] De Bruynes and [Raheem] Sterlings do what they do

“The last four or five years he’s sat in deep midfield and been one of the best midfielders in the world.”