Monday, February 6, 2023

Manchester City Midfielder Gathering Interest From Barcelona: What Should Be Pep’s Play?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a print edition, Mundo Deportivo mentioned that Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is gathering interest from Barcelona. It has been claimed that Barca are eyeing a move to sign the German international from Man City with the player’s contract set to run out next summer.

Gundogan’s Decent Run of Form For Both His Club And Country

The 32-year-old has put in some impressive displays for Man City this season but had a tough 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign with Germany. Gundogan has registered five goals and picked up a couple of assists in 29 matches for both his club and country across all fronts.

The talented midfielder has given a good account of himself by averaging 1.8 shots and 1.9 key passes per 90 minutes in the Premier League. he has even been tidy when distributing the ball from the back, as evidenced by his pass success rate of 89.7% in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

His current contract at the Etihad Stadium is set to run out at the end of this campaign. Thus, Man City will be powerless to stop him from leaving unless they can tie him down to a new contract.

Etihad Stadium
Etihad Stadium

What Should Be Manchester City Boss Pep Guardiola’s Play With Regards To Gundogan?

Gundogan is a solid tackler of the ball and can offer decent protection for his teammates at the back when he is playing with confidence on the field. He has developed a knack for scoring and creating a handful of important goals for his team in the final third. The German talent is a tidy passer of the ball as well.

Gundogan is primarily a box-to-box midfielder but can also fill in as a defensive midfielder or play in the number ten position if needed. However, he is about to enter the final stage of his playing career.

At the moment, Gundogan remains an important member of Man City‘s squad. However, he is on an expiring contract, so Pep Guardiola should consider letting him leave for a cut-price fee this January rather than risk losing him for free at the end of this campaign.

The Mancunian giants should consider offering Gundogan a new, short-term contract extension. If they fail to sign the player on a new deal, Guardiola would be wise to let him go this winter and use the money generated from his potential sale to bring in a suitable replacement to the Etihad Stadium.

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