Pep Guardiola hails 'incredible' Fernandinho as Man City centre-back stint begins
Sept. 18, 2019
In Pictures | Shakhtar Donetsk vs Man City | 18/09/2019
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has heaped praise on Brazilian star Fernandinho after the midfielder made a successful start to his stint as a makeshift centre-half.
The 34-year-old made his first start of the season in Wednesday night’s Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk , keeping a clean sheet alongside Nicolas Otamendi in the centre of defence as Guardiola’s side cruised to a 3-0 victory in Ukraine.
City did not sign a new central defender to replace departing club captain Vincent Kompany this summer, and looked light in the position even before the season began.
They have since lost both Aymeric Laporte and John Stones to injuries, with fears that the former may be out for as long as six months, and Guardiola confirmed that Fernandinho will be asked to fill the void on a regular basis.
“I think we don't have many choices, I think he's the only one I have!” Guardiola told BT Sport.
“Fernandinho is a clever player and so intelligent, an incredible guy. He did well, it's the first game he played.
“He has a lot of experience and personality. What he says, the people follow him in the locker room.”
He added: "He is a player who can play many positions and has a good personality - that’s why he is so important for us. I didn't have doubts that he would [look so comfortable in the back four].
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