Fernandinho underlined his importance last season, starting 29 of City’s 38 Premier League matches and making 42 appearances in all competitions as they won an unprecedented domestic treble.
But Sherwood, who captained Blackburn Rovers to the 1994/95 Premier League title and managed Tottenham Hotspur, sees new signing Rodri as the eventual heir to the 34-year-old Brazilian and his arrival adds further evidence of City's ability to seamlessly evolve and improve.
"It's so good, the way they do their business," he says. "They're going to miss Vincent Kompany now but they've already bedded defenders in.
"They do it so well. They've got a plan and they've got the best manager I've ever seen orchestrating it.
"[Rodri] is going to be a replacement for Fernandinho eventually. I think [Guardiola] will bed him in very slowly, like he did with Bernardo. But this guy is cultured."
Rodri played for 69 minutes as Man City beat West Ham United 4-1 in Wednesday's semi-final at the Premier League Asia Trophy and will be hoping to familiarise himself further with his new team-mates in the final against Wolverhampton Wanderers in Shanghai on Saturday.
"If I could pick a player [to compare him with], it's [Sergio] Busquets," says Sherwood.
"He handles the ball well. He intercepts it, he breaks up the game, but he can drive and dribble with the ball also.
"He will eventually give Pep Guardiola a better midfield."
Wednesday 17 July, Nanjing Olympic Sports Center
Newcastle 0-4 Wolves
Man City 4-1 West Ham
Saturday 20 July, Hongkou Football Stadium, Shanghai
Newcastle v West Ham, third/fourth place playoff, kick-off 17:00 (10:00 BST)
Wolves v Man City, final, kick-off 19:30 (12:30 BST)y