Prediction: Manchester City's Fernandinho to be the signing of the season

Fernandinho

Just how good will Fernandinho prove at Manchester City?

This time last year Manchester City had only signed Jack Rodwell ahead of the season kicking off. 12 months on it could not be more different, with a quartet of superstars added to their ranks.

New manager Manuel Pellegrini has added Jesus Navas, Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic, and the most expensive of the lot; Fernandinho.

And the Brazilian's price tag seems to have caused a lot of contention, his £35 million arrival being the single biggest fee paid by any Premier League club this summer.

Many have written him off before a ball has been kicked, as an expensive waste of money, including one of our writers on these pages earlier today - but it's purely a matter of opinion at this stage - and my own perspective strongly disagrees with that assertion.

I asked last year why Manchester City did not go for Marouane Fellaini of Everton, buying a dominant midfielder to add to Yaya Toure and run roughshod over the rest of the Premier League.

Instead they bought Rodwell and Javi Garcia, neither of who have found their rhythm yet at City, and this summer they have made the suggested move - just by buying a different type of player instead.

Fernandinho is arguably a far better player than Fellaini, while untested in the Premier League, or any top European league, arriving from Ukraine (which appears to be most people's problem with him) - he has the attributes of a more dynamic and superior footballer to the Belgian.

Discounting the fact he played in Ukraine, is to discount his Champions League pedigree, making 30 appearances in the competition to date.  His Shakhtar side were only knocked out by beaten finalists Borussia Dortmund last year, playing their part in eliminating Chelsea in the group stages of the competition, scoring past them in a 2-1 win.

At 28, Fernandinho is a player approaching his peak, and a successful season at City could well propel him into the national team spotlight ahead of Brazil's 2014 World Cup.

He likes to get forward, scoring six times last season and providing 10 assists, showing he has a creative spark which will fit in well at City.

While not the imposing height of Yaya Toure, Fernandinho is just one metre 76 centimetres tall, he is every bit as mobile, and the pair should form an almost unstoppable double act in the centre of midfield.

In assessing the player's prospects, you have to distance yourself from the price tag. He is a top quality player, and to get those you have to pay a premium. If you do not want to meet that asking price, you will not get them - as illustrated by Arsenal's summer of woe in the transfer market.

With the season kicking off this weekend, and City aiming to recapture the title; their most expensive new addition will be crucial to that aim - and before he amazes the doubters, I wanted to put my prediction on record that he will be the signing of the summer.

Do you feel the same way? Do you expect big things of the Brazilian or are you unsure?

image: © coreyadamcrowley

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