Manchester City should hold on to Ilkay Gundogan at all costs
As The Sun puts it down, Ilkay Gundogan is set to open contract talks with Manchester City amidst interest from Spanish giants Barcelona. The German midfielder has two years remaining in his current contract, earning weekly wages of £90,000. The 27-year-old is happy under his current manager Pep Guardiola and wants to commit his long-term future to the club. (h/t The Sun)
Gundogan was Manchester City’s first signing under Pep Guardiola when the midfielder moved to the Premier League from Borussia Dortmund in 2016. Since then, he has been one of City’s midfield generals, making a total of 44 appearances in the Premier League till date. In that time, he scored seven goals and set up another three.
The 27-year-old’s style of play is defined by his range of passing and his ability to hold on to the ball. In the current campaign, he has added that much-needed stability to City’s midfield alongside Fernandinho.
Stats & tactic talk
He seems to lack that aesthetic sense but few can deny that he is one of the best in his position. The German has been instrumental in City’s ongoing campaign with a pass success of 92.6% and averages 54 passes per game. He has one assist and a key pass rate of 0.8.
With his immaculate passing, Gundogan has kept things ticking in the midfield, allowing the likes of David Silva, Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy to burst forward and link the play with Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling.
At times, he has dropped deeper and helped Fernandinho to cope with counter-attacks. To put it in simple words, he has successfully patrolled the entire central midfield region with his imperious work rate and talents.
Fernandinho is already 33 and City do not have too many quality central midfielders in their ranks. This is exactly what makes Gundogan’s presence all the more indispensable.
Given the all-around success that City have achieved in the recent past, Guardiola would be expected to come out with flying colours at all fronts including Europe. To do that, he needs adequate squad depth which would allow him to rotate his players effectively.
At 27, Gundogan’s best years should lie ahead of him. That said, Manchester City must leave no stone unturned in the efforts to keep him at the club.