Chelsea's defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League this season may have come as a surprise to Blues supporters, but there was one man who predicted the result well before a ball was kicked. Midfielder Fernandinho had guaranteed Shakhtar would beat the Blues and by scoring the second goal in the tie, the Brazilian made sure his prediction would come to pass. With the midfielder admitting he'd love to come and play in England, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal must surely be weighing up a bid for his services, as they could all use someone of his quality in a central midfield position. talkSPORT ask which team would be the best fit for Shakhtar's engine...
With Abou Diaby perennially injured and the lack of depth in their midfield badly exposed against Manchester United, Arsenal could certainly do with an injection of quality in the middle of the park. Fernandinho is capable of playing in central, defensive or attacking midfield positions, almost like being three players in one for Arsenal, which would certainly help to alleviate their lack of depth. His energy and willingness to get forward would be a welcome addition to their somewhat lightweight midfield two.
At 27, the Brazilian will need to think long and hard about a move to a new club and will surely want to win trophies while he's at the peak of his career. At Arsenal, that looks unlikely and the lack of ambition at the Emirates could be a major stumbling block should they decide to approach the star, despite him looking tailor made for their side.
One of Chelsea's major weak points this season has been in their double pivot, with Jon Obi Mikel failing to produce the same quality as many of the team mates around him, and Fernandinho could slot comfortably into his position. Mikel's range of passing is limited, displaying little vision, and he fails to up the tempo for Chelsea where necessary. Fernandinho would bring energy and a will to press the opposition off the ball rather than the somewhat sluggish performances the Nigerian has produced in recent seasons, while he can also contribute with a searching through ball on occasion.
In asking him to play a more disciplined role in the midfield, Chelsea would likely lose Fernandinho's goal threat and strong link-up play. With Ramires looking to have found his position for the Blues as one of their midfield two, the Shakhtar man would need to maintain his deeper position when his compatriot bombed forward in his customary manner, leaving little room for his more offensive qualities, and that could be difficult to guarantee considering his buccaneering style.
With the jury still out on Tom Cleverley and Paul Scholes unlikely to continue for much longer, Manchester United will surely be thinking about making a central midfielder their next signing, and arguably should have already done so in the summer. Fernandinho could form a solid partnership with Michael Carrick, using his energy and decent range of passing to compliment the Englishman's more withdrawn style, and could equally enjoy linking up with Wayne Rooney when the number ten drops deep in his current role.
Sir Alex seems intent on persisting with promoting from within to fill his midfield deficit, and may be convinced that Tom Cleverley is the answer rather than signing a new player. Ferguson is perhaps also looking for a midfielder who prefers to play the ball from deep rather than drive forward, as with Rooney coming back to receive possession and the pace United have on the wings, there's already plenty of energy in their side. A Paul Scholes-type rather than a box-to-box midfielder seems better suited to United's football, as it's in this area that they have often fallen down against quality opposition.
Arsenal can't offer the guarantee of competing for trophies and United may be looking for a different kind of midfield player to the Brazilian, but Chelsea could be a natural fit for his talents. At Stamford Bridge he would find a sizeable contingent of his compatriots to help him settle in and, if the Shakhtar man and Ramires could learn to alternate their roles successfully, providing cover when either player decides to drive forward, they would be a formidable midfield duo. The creativity of Mata, Hazard and Oscar in front of the midfield pair would take the pressure off the two pivots from providing all of the passing inspiration for the side, and the five players compliment each other's talents well on paper. If Fernandinho can impress against Chelsea again in the second leg of Shakhtar's battle with the English side, the transfer could yet come to pass.
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