The obvious shout is Jorge Grant, the vice-captain and arguably one of the best players to turn out for City this season. He’s had a great impact in a number of roles, one of which is the number four in front of the defence.
Grant is accustomed to playing in the four role, and is effective with the game ahead of him. His ability to ping a 50-yard pass in perhaps the strongest in the whole squad, even if sometimes the bobbly pitches and hard surfaces paint a different picture. He’s used to playing there already, understands the patterns of play and has the distribution attributes needed to pivot the midfield and defence.
Losing him from the advanced midfield role is a blow, and it means a reshuffle ahead of him. Perhaps McGrandles and Jones can carry that weight, they have in the past, but there’s little doubt we lack something when Grant isn’t in the attacking third, especially with the neat inter-play between him, the left winger and the full-back.