Mens Team

Goater: ‘Complete’ Fernandinho the best defensive midfielder

Goater: ‘Complete’ Fernandinho the best defensive midfielder
Shaun Goater says Fernandinho’s passing ability makes him a complete defensive midfielder and one of the best players in his position.

With his tireless defensive work rate, the Brazilian has made protecting the back four an art form in his seven and a half years at Manchester City, but Goater believes our captain is the full package.

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Fernandinho hit a sweetly struck volley in the Carabao Cup semi-final win over Manchester United to evidence his attacking credentials and our former striker says it is his talent on the ball which sets him apart from other defensive midfielders.

“He has been the best, and he has probably made us more aware of the role he does and how he plays it,” Goater explained on the We’re Not Really Here matchday show.

“I love Fernandinho when he plays. He’s not only this player who passes the ball square.

“He knocks a lovely 40-yard diagonal ball and says, ‘there you go winger, get at him’.

“That isn’t what you see with some midfielders, who keep it safe and then get told their stats for keeping the ball the next day are 99%.

Fernandinho says, ‘I’ll give the through ball too’. He’s got that complete game as a defensive midfielder. He’s got an aggression to his game.”

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Joleon Lescott, a former team-mate of Fernandinho, joined Goater as a We’re Not Really Here guest for the United game and he too feels there is a uniqueness to the 35-year-old’s approach to his role.

As a centre-half, Lescott reaped the benefits of Fernandinho’s ability to snuff out danger and he says the midfielder’s outstanding reading of the game ensures he is always in the right place to disrupt the opposition’s attacks.

Fernandinho has produced the most consistent performances there and Rodrigo is an ever present and does exceptionally well, but Fernandinho has a different intelligence especially for a counter-attack,” added Lescott.

“He knows how to foul and not get a yellow card. He can nullify attacks without them realising and be that figurehead to know where the game’s going.

“He brings a different understanding to that role.”

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