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Manchester City: Guardiola could unearth Fernandinho replacement with Romeo Lavia

With an average squad age of 27.3, Manchester City have the eight-oldest squad in the Premier League at this moment in time, with 36-year-old Fernandinho being the joint-oldest player alongside goalkeeper Scott Carson, who is the same age as the Brazilian.

Taking this into account, and with the midfielder’s current contract at the Manchester club set to expire next summer, it seems as though the Premier League champions should be thinking about his eventual exit and who they could get to replace him.

However, we think that the club may not need to go out and spend a significant amount of money on a new player, as they have done in the past, to replace Fernandinho, and instead turn to 17-year-old defensive midfielder Romeo Lavia.

The teenager joined City’s under-18 side back in the 2020 summer transfer window from Belgian club Anderlecht for an undisclosed fee.

Since then, the midfielder – who has been described as an “aggressive” player by former City defender Vincent Kompany – has made 14 appearances for the under-18 side, as well as 25 appearances for City’s under-23s in which he has managed to score two goals and provide three assists, which we feel is quite impressive for a defensive midfielder at such a young age.

Lavia, who is currently valued at £900k by Transfermarkt, has also made one appearance for Guardiola’s first team in the 6-1 win over Wycombe Wanderers in the Carabao Cup last month, where he played the full 90 minutes.

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For his performance against Wycombe, Lavia earned himself a decent overall match rating of 7/10 from the Manchester Evening News, who said that he “clearly likes a tackle, and his passes over the top and through the lines were Fernandinho-esque”. That further highlights him as a potential ideal long-term replacement for the Brazilian at the Etihad Stadium, if the veteran leaves when his current contract ends in the summer.

Moving forward, if Lavia can keep playing regularly for the under-23 side and make the most of any future chances that he gets in the first team, we believe he could well find himself becoming a significant part of Guardiola’s squad in the coming years.

In other news: 95% pass accuracy, 91 touches: £140k-p/w MCFC ace was Pep’s only shining light against West Ham

Article title: Manchester City: Guardiola could unearth Fernandinho replacement with Romeo Lavia

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