The prospect of Manchester City losing Fernandinho for Wednesday’s Champions League showdown is worse for them than Tottenham losing Harry Kane, according to Noel Whelan.
The former Leeds United and Coventry City striker told Football Insider how influential the midfield anchorman is to Pep Guardiola’s quadruple chasers, while Spurs have coped well without their talisman.
Speaking at his media conference after City’s Premier League win over Crystal Palace on Sunday, Guardiola claimed Fernandinho is an injury doubt for the quarter-final second-leg clash.
The Brazilian missed the win at Selhurst Park after he “finished badly” the defeat to Spurs at White Hart Lane five days earlier and the manager said he could be out again.
Kane suffered ankle ligament damage in the first leg and Tottenham have confirmed he is set to be sidelined for months, missing the rest of the domestic campaign.
“The other attacking players, like Son [Heung-Min] and Lucas Moura, are more dangerous when Kane is not there,” Whelan exclusively told Football Insider. “They allow Kane to carry the burden and it’s strange they are not as effective when Kane is in the team.
“Fernandinho is a huge player for City because he is a specialist and there is no obvious replacement for him in the squad, who’s able to play the deep midfield role. It’s strange to say it, but for City to lose Fernandinho is worse than Spurs losing Kane.”
In other Tottenham team news, the club “have been sniffing around” an in-form number 10 to replace Christian Eriksen.