Paul Merson says that Manchester City must sign a Fernandinho replacement very quickly in order to maintain their Premier League title challenge.
Fernandinho has missed City’s last two league games, which both ended in defeat. The lack of a protective shield for Pep Guardiola’s back four was glaringly obvious as the title-holders conceded five goals in those two games.
The Brazilian international’s thigh injury is expected to keep him out for another week or two at least and Merson feels now is the time that City need to look at signing a replacement for the ageing midfielder.
“If he doesn’t play, they haven’t got anybody to replace him,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“They’ve got everybody covered for a position, bar there (defensive midfield). It’s been proven. He keeps it simple and he knows how to break the game up, and when he gets the ball he then gives it to the players who do the business.
“I think he’s been a massive miss and I think City have a big problem coming up. He’s 33 years old. As the years go on, he’s not going to able to play every game. I think they need to replace him very quickly, and if they don’t, they’re going to struggle.”
Fernandinho joined City in 2013 from Shakhtar Donetsk and has gone on to win two Premier League titles and three League Cup trophies in his time at the Etihad Stadium.