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Why Man City should hold on to Ilkay Gundogan at all costs

According to Sky Sports, Man City manager, Pep Guardiola is hopeful that Ilkay Gundogan will extend his stay at the club by putting pen to paper on a new contract, with the 28-year-old’s current deal set to expire in 2020.

The same report claims that Gundogan has so far refused to sign a new contract, and Guardiola, though hopeful of the German committing his future at the Etihad, is prepared to let him leave if talks over a fresh deal do not reach a positive conclusion.

Gundogan, who joined Man City from Borussia Dortmund for a fee of £21 million back in 2016, has been one of the mainstays of the club’s midfield under Pep Guardiola. The 29-time capped German international has thrived in the Premier League since his arrival from the Bundesliga, helping the Citizens claim the Premier League title as well as the EFL Cup. The 28-year-old has accumulated 16 goals and 16 assists from 101 appearances for City across all competitions.

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He has filled in the boots of Fernandinho admirably in recent games, with Guardiola using him as a defensive midfielder to cover for the absence of the injured Brazilian. While the likes of Bernardo Silva and David Silva have stolen much of the limelight for City’s spectacular run of form in the Premier League, Gundogan has been like a silent-assassin in the midfield, producing consistent performances to keep things ticking along.

To put things into perspective, it should be an absolute no-brainer for the faithful at Man City to keep him at the club for the long-term. With a replacement for Fernandinho yet to be acquired, Gundogan is the only player in their ranks who has the versatility to play in that holding midfield role, a position that holds the key to Man City’s free-flowing and explosive football under Pep Guardiola.

Truth be told, Gundogan, with his well-rounded attributes, is as an indispensable component of Man City’s midfield. A technically-gifted midfielder with high levels of tactical intelligence, Gundogan not only has the skill, vision and the presence of mind to pick out the right pass but he is also equally adept at cutting out the attacks with his tireless work-rate and game-reading ability.

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Blessed with a wonderful range of passing, he acts as the vital link between the midfield and the forward line, which allows the more attack-minded players like David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne to wreak havoc through the opposition’s defence. Gundogan’s energy, drive and determination in the midfield is right up there with the very best in the world and his calmness and composure in possession are invaluable assets to the team.

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Still only 28, Gundogan has plenty to offer at the highest level and it would cost Man City a fortune to land a like-for-like replacement for the German maestro. The Citizens need to keep hold of their stars to keep up their dominance in the Premier League and Gundogan is certainly amongst the club’s most prized assets. That said, they should do everything in their power to convince the player to pen a new contract.

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