Manchester City are reportedly set to confirm the £16 million signing of FC Porto defensive midfielder Fernando. The 26-year-old Brazilian has impressed this season in the Portuguese Primeira Liga where he has played for the last seven years of his career since leaving his homeland Brazil.
Meanwhile, City have their very own Brazilian midfielder in Fernandinho who signed just last summer for £34million from Shakhtar Donetsk. The 26-year-old has been a great asset to the Citizens in his debut season in England but Spain midfielder Javi Garcia, deployed behind him in Fernando’s primary position, has been less of an obvious success at the Etihad in his second term in England since signing for £15.8million from Benfica in 2012.
Fernando is one year Garcia’s junior at 26, and the former made 25 appearances in the Primeira Liga for Porto last term while Garcia made 29 appearances in total, of which 15 were from the bench. Looking at how the two players compared in the Champions League this season may give a more accurate and fair account of how they stand up next to one another.
Fernando averaged a higher pass-completion rate of 89.3% in the Champions League to Garcia’s 86% rate whilst he also averaged more than double the amount of passes that Garcia did per game.
Defensively, Fernando averaged more than double the number of tackles per game as Garcia, and 25% more interceptions than the Spaniard. However, Garcia conceded fewer fouls and was dribbled less often than his Brazilian counterpart.
City already have some of the finest talent in the world in their midfield - Yaya Toure, David Silva, Samir Nasri and Fernandinho - but having sold Nigel de Jong in 2012 and sending Gareth Barry out on loan last term, the Citizens could certainly use a powerful and intimidating presence in front of their back-line, and it has looked as though Garcia does not quite meet that requirement.
Fernando could likely offer the back-line more protection and give Toure, Silva and Fernandinho more freedom to do what the former pair especially do best, which is attack, and I think at present there are still question marks over Garcia’s suitability to that role at the Etihad.