Fernandinho has been a vital cog in Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City machine for the past year.
In the summer, the successful coach had hoped to recruit another midfielder to share the workload in the engine room, but he failed to do so.
It was widely suggested that Jorginho would come through the welcome gates at the Etihad Stadium, but in the end, the Napoli star followed his manager Maurizio Sarri to Chelsea.
For the most part this season, City have not looked troubled, but their Champions League campaign got off to a gloomy start when they lost 2-1 to Group F opponents Lyon.
On Tuesday night they looked for their first win of the competition when they faced Hoffenheim in Germany.
Guardiola’s men came from a goal down to win 2-1 thanks to strikes from Sergio Aguero and David Silva.
Fernandinho played the fill 90 minutes of the clash, but it was not one of the Brazilian’s best games.
The 33-year-old struggled to cope with Hoffenheim’s pace on the counter-attack, administering just two tackles and intercepting the ball on only two occasions.
Offensively, Fernandinho failed to create any meaningful passes and his accuracy was the weakest out of all of the City players who started the encounter.
The midfielder’s performance should not cause any worry in Guardiola’s camp, but it does emphasise the need to recruit a quality player who can step in.
Perhaps City will have to revisit the issue when the transfer window reopens in January.