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Guardiola urges Fernandinho to drop back for a future
February 11, 2019
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Manchester: Pep Guardiola believes his brilliant Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho can extend his Manchester City career by moving back to central defence on a permanent basis as he ages.

The 33-year-old has been a key figure in the success enjoyed by Guardiola over the past two seasons and in City’s ongoing bid to retain their Premier League title

His versatility has also seen him look increasingly effective on occasion at centre-half, a role he performed so effectively in last weekend’s comfortable 3-1 win over Arsenal.

Now Guardiola, who extended Javier Mascherano’s career at Barcelona with a similar positional switch, reckons Fernandinho could benefit from the same move in England.

“I think he can play in that position, I am pretty sure,” said City manager Guardiola.

“He is fast, he is strong in the air, good going backwards and when he sees the football in front of him, his vision for the pass inside, switch of play is excellent,” the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss explained.

“So he is intelligent to go forward or go backwards, so he understands everything. Of course he has to train more at it. I think he can do it, but his position is as a midfield player.”

Guardiola appeared to have gambled last week when he left England centre-half John Stones on the bench and played Fernandinho in the heart of City’s defence instead.

And he joked that should that ploy fail next time, he knows what reaction he can expect for his selection.

Agence France-Presse

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