Sunday, February 5, 2023

Manchester City Midfielder Is On The Radar Of Barcelona: Should Pep Cut Him Loose?

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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 recent print edition, Sport revealed that Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is on the radar of Barcelona. It has been claimed that the Catalan club wants to secure the services of the German international from the Mancunian club next year.

Gundogan’s Decent Run Of Form At The Etihad Stadium

Gundogan is enjoying a decent campaign at Manchester after producing a handful of impressive performances at the centre of Man City‘s midfield. The 32-year-old has found the back of the net twice and earned two assists in 20 matches for Pep Guardiola‘s side this season across various competitions.

The German talent has proven his worth as a valuable member of Man City’s first XI by averaging 1.8 shots and 1.9 key passes per game in the Premier League. He has even been excellent when distributing the ball from midfield as evidenced by his pass success rate of 89.7% in the English top flight (stats via whoscored).

His current contract at Man City will run out at the end of this campaign. Hence, Guardiola will have to consider selling him on the cheap this January rather than risk losing him for free next summer. The Mancunian club could use the money generated from his potential sale to bring in a suitable replacement for the long run.

Etihad Stadium
Etihad Stadium

Should Manchester City Boss Pep Guardiola Cut Gundogan Loose Next Year?

Gundogan can offer decent protection for his teammates at the back when he is playing with confidence on the pitch. However, he is more renowned for scoring goals from midfield as he can strike the ball with power and precision from all ranges.

The German international can also engineer some meaningful openings for his teammates on the attacking end of the field. He is primarily a box-to-box midfielder but can also function as a holding midfielder or play in the number ten position as an attacking midfielder if asked to do so.

Currently, Gundogan remains a crucial member of Guardiola’s squad at the Etihad Stadium. He could play a big role for Man City in the Premier League title race this season.

Hence, the Mancunian giants would be wise not to cut Gundogan loose this January but rather let him leave on a free transfer at the end of this season. He has got a wealth of experience at the highest level and could even help Guardiola’s side challenge for the UEFA Champions League trophy next year.

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