Pep Guardiola has made Borrusia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan his first signing at Manchester City.
After weeks of speculation about Borussia Dortmund’s midfield maestro Ilkay Gundogan, Manchester City announced his signature, making him manager Pep Guardiola’s first signing at the club. An agreement has been reached by the two parties, and the deal has been valued at £21 million.
Ilkay Gündogan: Has won possession in the middle third of the pitch more times (237) than any other player in the last 2 Bundesliga seasons
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 2, 2016
Even during his time at Bayern, Guardiola admired the 25 year-old’s work-ethic, and will now get a chance build his team with Gundogan playing a key role. With the futures of Yaya Toure and Fernando hanging in the balance, the former Bayern boss took little to no time in finalizing on a replacement.
One major drawback in signing Gundogan would be his fitness issues. He missed out most of the 2013/14 Bundesliga season and as we speak, is fighting a knee injury that would rule him out of the first few games of the new season. However, Guardiola is a man known to take risks and believes that he would benefit with the presence of Gundogan in the side.
What does he bring to the table for the Citizens?
His impeccable distribution of the ball makes him one of the finest deep-lying midfielders in the world today. In a frantic German league, Gundogan has a formidable pass accuracy of 87.8%. Playing in a side that comprises of creative geniuses like David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne, and one of the league’s most fearful striker in Sergio Aguero, Gundogan may quickly get adjusted to the ways of the Premier League, and in return give Manchester City fans perhaps their best midfielder to date.
— Ilkay Gündogan (@Guendogan8) June 2, 2016
Here’s how he compares with the current crop of Manchester City midfielders, as per Squawka:
Pep Guardiola’s approach to the game is to play possession-based attacking football. Given the pass accuracy, the four compare almost equally, with Fernando holding a slight edge over his competitors. The Brazilian has also averaged an impressive tally of 2.57 tackles per 90 minutes. However, due to his lack of versatility and pace, he might be shown the door by Guardiola.
When compared to Yaya Toure, Gundogan, if fit, clearly looks like an upgrade on the Ivorian. Toure’s last two seasons at the Etihad have been somewhat erratic, with him not being able to dominate the midfield, as he did during City’s title-winning campaign of 2011/12. Having once been sold by Pep during his time at Barcelona, history is likely to repeat itself.