Thursday, June 8, 2023

Update On Barcelona And Their Pursuit Of This Manchester City Ace: Decent Choice For Xavi?

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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 report, ESPN offered an update on Barcelona and their pursuit of Manchester City ace Ilkay Gundogan. It is believed that Xavi’s side are pressing on with negotiations to bring the German international to the Nou Camp this summer.

Gundogan’s Impressive Numbers In English Football

Gundogan is experiencing another impressive season at Man City and has been responsible for putting in a handful of productive displays for them at the centre of the park. The 32-year-old has banged in four goals and registered four assists in 37 appearances for the Mancunian giants during this campaign across all competitions.

The German talent has been a consistent performer for his current employers as he is averaging 1.0 tackles, 0.6 interceptions, 0.5 clearances, 1.7 shots and 1.3 key passes per game in the Premier League. He has even been accurate when interchanging possession from midfield after making 86.7% of his attempted passes in the English first division (stats via whoscored).

Gundogan’s current contract at the Etihad Stadium will run out this summer. Hence, Barcelona have got a good chance of signing him on a free transfer at the end of this campaign.

Ilkay Gundogan
LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 11: Ilkay Guendogan of Manchester City is challenged by Michael Olise of Crystal Palace during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Manchester City at Selhurst Park on March 11, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Will Gundogan Be A Decent Choice For Barcelona Boss Xavi?

Gundogan is a good tackler of the ball and usually tries his best to make life difficult for the opposition at the centre of the park. He can contribute by scoring and creating his fair share of goals in the final third.

The German talent can also make some clever runs in and around the opponent’s penalty box. However, at 32, Gundogan is a player on the decline and would only be a short-term fix to Barca’s midfield concerns.

Still, Gundogan will add more goals and creativity to Barcelona boss Xavi‘s midfield department and increase competition for places within his match-day squad. He would also be a good, short-term replacement for Sergio Busquets who has entered the final stage of his playing career at the Nou Camp.

With all things considered, Gundogan will be a decent choice for Barca to pursue at the end of this campaign as he will be available as a free agent. However, only time will tell whether Gundogan can make a smooth transition to life in Spain.

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