Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Manchester City Midfielder’s Future Hangs In Balance: Will Guardiola Extend His Contract?

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Ankit Seth
Ankit is a 24-year-old, aspiring to have his voice heard through what he writes. Charismatic and frankly moral, adhering to his principles and beliefs. Out to search for a purpose in life and yet to settle on that matter.

In a recent report from Sports Illustrated, it was mentioned that Manchester City could refrain from extending Ilkay Gundogan’s contract to make room for Jude Bellingham in the midfield department. The German international’s contract expires at the end of this season and there has been no development with a contract extension as we head into the January transfer window.

Gundogan’s Campaign With Manchester City This Season

Gundogan has had an excellent start to his campaign this season as he has put in some influential displays at the centre of the park. He has managed to score two goals and create two assists for the Mancunian giants so far across all fronts prior to the 2022 FIFA World Cup ongoing in Qatar.

The Gelsenkirchen-born sensation has been a key player in the midfield department as he has been reliable and consistent in the holding positions. He has been averaging 1.8 shots, 0.9 tackles and 1.9 key passes per game in the Premier League this season. He has also been tidy with his ball distribution after completing 89.7% of his attempted passes in the English top flight (stats via whoscored).

Etihad Stadium
Etihad Stadium

Will Guardiola Extend His Contract Or Let Him Loose?

Ilkay Gundogan possesses a high work rate and has the composure to keep the ball even under pressure. The German international is relentless in the central areas as he can time his tackles well and make some crucial interceptions to win the ball back for his side. Furthermore, he excels at distributing the ball to his teammates and can set up his teammates with a few decisive passes in front of the goal.

Even at the age of 31, he has shown no signs of stopping through his ranks after playing in various European competitions throughout his career. His addition could certainly add more depth and bring more creativity to a squad. However, if Pep Guardiola and the Man City chiefs decide to go for Jude Bellingham then Gundogan could be the one to be axed in order to make room for the youngster as he would certainly demand first-team football.

With less than a year left in his contract, Pep Guardiola could sell him for a decent transfer fee in January and bring more funds to the Etihad if they make an attempt to sign Bellingham next summer. Although if they fail to acquire the Dortmund ace then that would put the Sky Blues in a tough situation to find decent replacements who can provide the quality that Gundogan offers on the field.

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