3 Holding Midfielders That Could Put Man City’s Title Plans Back On Track

Manchester City haven’t had the greatest of times during this festive period.

The Premier League champions have lost their last two league games and that’s seen Pep Guardiola’s men sink to third place in the table. They’re now six points behind leaders Liverpool.

Tellingly, holding midfielder Fernandinho missed those two defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester City. City just don’t look as solid without the Brazilian in their engine room; winning the ball back and playing it to the creative talent.

Guardiola has stated to the Man City website that the thirty-three year old could be back for the club’s next game:

“Everybody is fit but some players have some problems,” .

“We will decide tomorrow but Ferna, Gabriel Jesus and Kompany have been in training.”

Ilkay Gundogan and Fabian Delph can play in that position (if needed) but they don’t offer the same defensive consistency that veteran Fernandinho offers in that area.

With that in mind, I think Man City would be well served if they went into this January’s transfer window and provided Pep with a extra holding midfielder to bolster his squad options.


The twenty-two year old would come in and be comfortable in the league, having been with the Foxes since 2016.

Definitely a combative midfielder, who knows how to get the ball back. Only one other midfielder (Idrissa Gueye) has made more tackles that Ndidi’s average of 3.3 per game in the Premier League this term.

According to Whoscored.com, Wilfred made around 4.2 challenges per league fixture last season.

The Leicester man has also made 2.1 interceptions and 2.5 clearances. The youngster is also very good in the air, which would help City in both boxes.

Those stats show us that the midfielder is very consistent when protecting his team’s backline.

You’d imagine that Guardiola would like to see the midfielder producing more successful passes, if he ever happened to end up at the Etihad. This season Ndidi has averaged a passing success rate of just 76% and the Spanish coach prefers his players to be in the high eighties in that particular statistic. For example, Fernandinho boasts a passing success rate of 88% this season.

Wilfred Ndidi is of an age where he can be improved upon, he also has Premier League experience and would offer plenty of defensive discipline to Man City’s midfield. The big question mark would be can he fit into Pep’s passing style?


Being Spanish, it’s safe to assume that Pep Guardiola would still keep an eye on what happens in La Liga. According to Goal.com, Man City have started talks with Atletico Madrid regarding midfielder Thomas Partey.

The twenty-five year old has made fourteen Spanish top flight appearances thus far this season, scoring twice and creating two assists. On average; he wins 1.5 tackles per fixture and makes around 1.1 clearances.

Those defensive stats might not be as good as Ndidi but his passing attributes are better. He makes around thirty-five passes per game and has an 85.8% passing success rate.

Partey is a smart industrious midfielder, who can both tackle and pass.

After a recent game against Espanyol, AS.com reported that Thomas wasn’t fully happy at Atleti:

“Sometimes I feel unhappy at Atlético,”

The midfielder has since tried to clear up what he meant by those comments but The Citizens might believe that they can tempt him away from the Wanda Metropolitano.

Again it might take a big offer to bring him to the club as Partey’s contract has an £71m release clause.


Napoli are one team in Europe that likes to play in a similar high pressing and fluid passing style similar to that of Man City.

Pep Guardiola supposedly wanted to take Jorginho off their hands in the summer before the Italian international ended up at Chelsea. Maybe Pep can go back to Naples and try to bring in Allan.

The Brazilian internationalist has made seventeen appearances in Serie A during this campaign and has contributed to his team’s cause with two assists. He’s another middle-man that likes a pass and can hit a nice through ball. Has an impressive passing success rate of 89.7% in the Italian top tier this year and that’s with making around 61.8%.

No player in Serie A has bettered Allan’s average of 3.6 tackles per league game. He’s also composed and can dribble his way out of trouble.

He’s a bit older than the other two and is probably the best all-rounder too.

Would Napoli sell? Would City want to do a deal with Napoli after what happened during the summer with Jorginho? Those are two big questions!

It should be noted that PSG are also interested in Allan, if reports from Calciomercato are to be believed.

One Response to “3 Holding Midfielders That Could Put Man City’s Title Plans Back On Track”

  1. We need ALLAN OR

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