Is Fernandinho worth Manchester City's €40 million outlay?

Manchester City have signed Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho on a four-year deal for €40 million from Shakhtar Donetsk.

The 28-year-old’s transfer equates to around £34 million and whilst that won’t be much of a concern to Manchester City’s accountant, the fee seems a little excessive, considering his age, his credentials, and his record, in my estimation.

There is a tendency in the modern transfer market for teams to buy a name – as opposed to buying based purely on talent.

There is no doubting the obvious talent Fernandinho possesses – his technique is exceptional but his value has only recent sky-rocketed since Chelsea were reportedly interested in him over the course of the last year.

He is strong and powerful in terms of his physical presence and has been a staple of Shakhtar’s midfield for the past 8 seasons since his arrival from Atletico Paranaense in his native Brazil back in 2005.

He has only recently earned his place in the Brazilian national team and, to date, he has made just 5 appearances – four in 2011 and just one in 2012. He did not feature in Felipe Scolari’s squad at all since the former Chelsea boss took over last November.

He is, at international level, way down in the pecking order behind the likes of his former teammate Jadson, Luiz Gustavo, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Paulinho, Hernanes, Oscar, Bernard, Ramires, Ganso, Lucas Moura, and Sandro.

Of those players ahead of him in the pecking order, only the likes of Lucas Moura, Kaka and Ronaldinho have commanded a fee higher than Fernandinho’s.

Ramires cost Chelsea €22 million in 2010, for example, and he is a relatively similar player apart from being two years Fernandinho’s junior. 21-year-old Oscar cost the Blues just over £19 million last summer from Internacional and €45 million-rated Lucas Moura signed for PSG aged just 19 years old.

Whilst Fernandinho is a very very talented player, I’m not altogether sure he’s worth the fee City have paid for him. In fact, I don’t even think he believes he’s worth €40 million.

Last term he made 36 appearances for Shakhtar, scored 6 goals and made 10 assists. When you consider a player like Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla scored 12 goals and made 14 assists, is the same age and position and cost the Gunners less than half what City have paid for the Brazilian (£15 million), I wonder whether they’re getting value for their money.

Even Oscar, who is seven years his junior scored 12 goals and made 12 assists for Chelsea last term in his debut season and Ramires scored 9 and made 8. Barcelona paid the same price for Cesc Fabregas two years ago, is he really that good?

I’m not doubting he has talent – he is a great finisher, has great control and skill, passing, vision and creativity – I’m just not sure City couldn’t have gotten all that (and more) for their £34 million.

images: © geetarchurchy

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