How Good Is Manchester City’s Ikay Gundogan?

How Good Is Manchester City’s Ikay Gundogan?

Ikay Gundogan is having one of his best seasons as a professional footballer. The German International has battled with injury since his move from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City in the summer of 2016.

His move to Manchester City coincided with Manchester City’s acquisition of Pep Guardiola as manager.

However, hardly had he featured for the club before he sustained a knee ligament injury on 14th December 2016.

That injury kept him out of the team for the remainder of the season and denied him the chance to adapt to Guardiola’s style.

The seasons after were not too dissimilar as injuries threatened to derail his city career until now.

His stop-start seasons ensured that other players took centre stage at City.

The likes of Kelvin De Bruyne, Fernandinho, David Silva, Sterling, and Sergio Aguero.

Not since his time under Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund has the spotlight been on the German International.

Today, Pep Guardiola – who according to soofootball is one of the average Footballers who became World Class Coaches – sees Gundogan as an important part of his City team.

Gundogan was named in City’s starting X1 in 14 consecutive Premier League matches (the most in his Manchester City career till date) between mid-December 2020 and the end of February 2021.

This period coincided with the start of City’s record-breaking run of 28 matches unbeaten.

Indeed, a brace against Premier League rivals Liverpool ensured that City established their top spot on the league table

He followed up that performance with another brace against Tottenham in the next Premier League fixture.

In a team with so many attacking talents like City, Ikay Gundogan sits top of the team’s Premier League goalscorers chart as of match week 30 with 12 goals.

Also, his 15 goals in all competitions as of 17th March 2021 is more than any of his teammate’s at City or any German in Europe’s top 5 leagues.

In fact, His 15 goals in all competitions so far is more than his total goals in the past 2 seasons (11 goals) at Manchester.

Putting this in perspective, in arguably his best season at Dortmund where he scored his team’s only goal in their 2-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Uefa Champions League final, Gundogan only managed 4 goals. 

He is the first midfielder in Europe to score 10 league goals from open play this season.

There are not many footballers who can play anywhere in the midfield position like Gundogan. As Guardiola who himself was a midfielder puts it “He (Gundogan) is one of the most intelligent, wisest players I have ever trained, I have ever seen.”

Such intelligence has seen him arrive at the opposition 18-yard box to score a goal from his midfield position on several occasions.

Gundogan has been so impressive this season that he has emerged as the favourite for the Premier League player of the season award and is being mentioned amongst contenders for the Ballon d’Or award too.

If Manchester City is to win the Quadruple  (The English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, FA Cup, and Carabo Cup) this season, they must do all they can to keep Gundogan fit and in this blistering form.

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