Manchester City have secured a vital cog in their plans to retain their English Premier League (EPL) title in 2021/22, and go one better next season in the European Champions League. The Sky Blues have retained the services of their inspirational skipper, Fernandinho, with the Brazilian signing a new one-year contract extension that will is valid until the summer of 2022 prolonging his stay at the Etihad Stadium into a ninth influential season. The 36-year-old has again been an important player for Pep Guardiola’s side during the campaign in the 2020/21 season, getting himself on the scoresheet once and providing two assists in 34 appearances across all competitions. They are the type of performances that underscore Manchester City’s popularity with the bookies and punters for next season.
With retention of Fernandinho’s services, the online bookies have reacted swiftly, adjusting Manchester City’s odds for both the EPL and European Champions League titles for the 2021/22 season. Leading online betting sites have slashed the odds for the Sky Blues to retain their EPL title next season, established as outright favourites by a significant margin. While you can still get great odds for Man City to break their Champions League duck in 2021/22, there has been quite the betting plunge on The Citizens since the recent announcement to retain the services of their Brazilian captain.
How & Why Fernandinho is so important to the Man City set-up
At one point, it appeared likely that Fernandinho was set to leave Etihad Stadium on a free transfer at the end of the recently concluded season. However, a number of media reports have stated the Fernandinho’s leadership is seen to be a critical piece of the jigsaw puzzle that Guardiola and the rest of the Manchester City brains trust see as crucial to finally pulling off success in the Champions League and EPL in the same season.
The South American champion has made a total of 350 appearances for The Citizens since first arriving from Shakhtar Donetsk on loan way back in 2013, winning four Premier League titles and six EFL Cup trophies along the way. His durability is seen as one of his greatest qualities. The Brazilian’s professionalism to training and eating correctly is seen as crucial to guiding the team’s younger players to long-term success, and his moniker of ‘Mr Reliable’ is well-earned.
His role and experience as lynch pin to the team in adopting Pep Guardiola’s intricate Catalan system has been extremely important to the success of this Manchester City team in instigating attacks, while simultaneous protecting the defensive qualities of the back four. However, as the Manchester City performances began to fall off slightly in 2020/21, Fernandinho took it upon himself to lift the spirits of his side and address things honestly and positively. As the team (like everyone else) struggled through a winter dominated by reaction to the global pandemic, Fernandinho was widely lauded for his proactive leadership and calling a mid-season ‘truth’ meeting to address a string of below-par team performances. Fernandinho’s meeting was saluted as the turning point of the 2020-21 Sky Blues campaign by most of his Manchester City team-mates.
Ahead of shoring up the skills of his Manchester City defenders team mates for a tricky EPL opener away at Tottenham, Fernandinho reinforced his understanding that he still has some unfinished business to attend to;
“In my head and my mind, the job is not done yet and so that’s why I decided to stay here another year and try to help the team and the club to achieve the goals that they’re looking for,” he said.
“In my point of view, we can do that, there’s still places to improve and to get those targets” the Sky Blues inspirational skipper said.
City’s looking forward to Fernandinho’s on-and-off field leadership
Director of Football at Manchester City, Txiki Begriristain said of Fernandinho’s re-signing;
“Fernandinho’s contribution to Manchester City cannot be overstated. He is an outstanding footballer – one of the best in the world in his position – and an exemplary professional. He is our captain; our leader and it is a position he has excelled in. There are a number of talented young players in our squad and, therefore, it is vital we have somebody with Fernandinho’s knowledge and experience.
“He remains an important player for us and we are delighted he has committed to another year”, City’s football boss said.
The fans concur and cannot wait to see Fernandinho continuing to assist in welcoming the likes of quality new players such as Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva, Ederson and Danilo to settling in at the club, while continuing to be a mentor for young up-and-coming players such as Cole Palmer and Phil Foden.