'Fernandinho nearly impossible for Man City to replace'

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Fernandinho Manchester City 2018-19
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The Brazilian midfielder has been hailed by former team-mate Alvaro Negredo, who believes he is one of the club's best players

Alvaro Negredo has suggested that Fernandinho is one of Manchester City's most important players.

The former City striker spent two years at the club, winning the Premier League title in 2013-14, after scoring 23 goals across all competitions.

He was subsequently loaned to Valencia, before another short-term move to Middlesbrough. Permanent moves to Besiktas and, now, Al Nasr followed, but he remains fond of his time at City, and is in awe of Fernandinho, who also joined the club in 2013.

“Fernandinho is a very good friend of mine," he told Goal in an exclusive interview. "He is a player you find everywhere in the pitch, with good quality to manage the ball.

"He recovers many balls for his team and that makes him a very complete player. I think that replacing him will be a real problem for the club.”

Fernandinho is now 33, but has been almost ever-present for the club thus far this term, only sitting out the 3-0 FA Cup win over Oxford United.

He has played all nine Premier League games, plus their three Champions League matches, including their opening 2-1 defeat to Lyon.

However, despite that defeat, Negredo believes that Pep Guardiola's men remain one of the favourites to win the European competition.

“I think that they have the ability to win it this season," he said.

"There are more teams showing good performances, but I think that Man City are one of the favourites to win the Champions League this season”

City were Negredo's first club outside of Spain, a markedly different experience to the one he went through with Middlesbrough, but he insists both shaped him as a player.

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“We are talking about very different cities," he added.

"Manchester is a big city; wile Middlesbrough is smaller. Middlesbrough was a new promoted team and our target was to avoid the relegation. At Man City, things are different, we played to win the Premier League title and fight for all the trophies we are playing for.

"They are very different experiences, but I learnt from both”