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Man City should replace Fernandinho with Saul Niguez in the summer

According to the Mirror, Manchester City are keeping tabs on Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez and the Citizens have shortlisted the Spaniard as a potential replacement for Fernandinho.

The same report claims that Atletico have slapped a £130 million buy-out clause on the 24-year-old midfield ace and Man City would have to shatter their club-record transfer fee to get their hands on the Spaniard.

Manager Pep Guardiola has been on the lookout for a long-term replacement for Fernandinho but the Citizens have had no luck so far, with the reigning champions losing out to Man United and Chelsea in the race to sign Fred and Jorginho last summer. (h/t Mirror)

City seemed to have found the perfect successor to the throne of Fernandinho in Dutch prodigy Frenkie de Jong but their pursuit of the Ajax star ended in failure, with Barcelona having the final say in the bidding war. (h/t Mirror)

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One of the household names in the La Liga, Saul Niguez is arguably the best talent to have emerged from the Atletico Madrid academy in recent years. The 24-year-old is held in high regard by the hierarchy at the Wanda Metropolitano and City will have to cough up a massive amount to lure him away from the Spanish capital. Since making his debut back in 2012, Saul has accumulated 31 goals and 18 assists from 234 appearances for Atletico across all competitions.

Standing at just a shade over 6ft. in height, Saul Niguez is a technically-gifted and tactically-versatile midfielder who is capable of playing in multiple positions in the midfield. While he is essentially a central midfielder by trade, the Spaniard has also been used on either flank, as well as in a deeper defensive role due to his physical attributes. Known for his ability to dictate the tempo of the game and retain possession well, Saul is equally adept at winning back possession with crucial tackles and interceptions, whilst also providing a lot with his creativity in the middle of the park.

He can carry the ball forward with pace and purpose, move the ball around quickly and make subtle runs into the final third to have a crack on goal with his favourite left foot. In other words, he can be an invaluable asset to any top side in Europe with his intangible attribute of big-game temperament and tactical responsibility.

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To put things into perspective, Saul Niguez has got all the attributes in his book to replace Fernandinho at the Etihad. Fernandinho has been a wonderful long-term servant for the Citizens and at 33, the Brazilian is still performing at the peak of his powers. However, it is now high time for the Champions to dip into the transfer window to find an ideal replacement and reduce the burden on the Brazilian’s shoulders.

While Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling have stolen the limelight with their heroics in the final third, Fernandinho has once again been at the centre of everything that City have achieved this season. The role of a midfield pivot, which is currently being played by the Brazilian, is perhaps the most vital in Pep Guardiola’s 4-3-3 system and someone like Saul has the physical and technical attributes to take over the reins.

Read More:- Why Man City should beat Man United to land this €80m powerhouse – would be Fernandinho’s successor

Despite being linked with Lyon’s star midfield pair of Tanguy Ndombele and Houssem Aouar, Man City are unlikely to find a player of Saul’s calibre. The fact that the Spaniard is tried and tested at the highest level should make it all the more exciting a proposition for the fans. That said, they should not hesitate to shatter their club-record transfer fee to land the Spanish international next summer.

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