‘Fernandinho is the ultimate defensive midfielder of this era’ – Man City star ranked above Kante and Co by Dunne

Fernandinho Manchester City 2020-21Getty

Manchester City star Fernandinho has proved himself to be “the ultimate defensive midfielder in this era”, claims former Blues captain Richard Dunne, with the versatile Brazilian considered to sit above the likes of N’Golo Kante and Casemiro.

The hard-working Fernandinho was taken to the Etihad Stadium back in 2013 when he was snapped up from Shakhtar Donetsk and asked to provide cover for City in front of their back four.

He has starred in that role, collecting three Premier League titles and five League Cups along the way, with 320 appearances for the Blues taken in across seven productive years.

City have needed him to step back into a defensive berth at times, with that positional switch made with consummate ease, but it is in the engine room that the 35-year-old feels most comfortable.

A standing among the global elite has been enjoyed for some time, with Dunne suggesting that Fernandinho sits at the very top of the pecking order in his favoured role – ahead of star turns on the books at Chelsea and Real Madrid.

“He’s the ultimate defensive midfielder in this era,” the ex-City skipper told the club’s official website of a long-serving star.

“Having him as the organiser is so, so valuable. Even when he plays centre-half, he’s missed in midfield!

“He does it brilliantly well and doesn’t look out of place, but you can tell he’s not in the midfield.”

Fernandinho has been restricted to just seven appearances across all competitions this season, with a thigh problem forcing him into the treatment room, but he was welcomed back into the fold for a 1-0 Champions League win over Olympiakos.

Paul Dickov is delighted to see the Brazil international returned to Pep Guardiola’s plans, with his presence vital to City’s ambition.

The former Blues striker said: “Fernandinho has been sorely missed when he’s out.

“He didn’t get the credit that he deserved initially, but he’s the unsung hero of the team really.

“He breaks things up and lets the [Kevin] De Bruynes and [Raheem] Sterlings do what they do

“The last four or five years he’s sat in deep midfield and been one of the best midfielders in the world.”