Most would say Manchester City have one of the strongest squads in Europe and it’s hard to disagree, but that means some players don’t get as much game time as they would at other clubs. Indeed, Ilkay Gundogan is one star who’s been in and out of favour at the Etihad, so he’s right to be coy (quotes sourced by the Manchester Evening News) on a new deal at the moment.
City have already won the Community Shield and the League Cup this season, now they’re on the hunt for the FA Cup, Champions League a club-first back-to-back title, but some of their greatest successes over the last two seasons have seen tying down their best players to long-term contracts.
Kevin De Buryne, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, and Ederson just to name a few have put pen to paper on new deals, creating a certain future for many of their top stars.
Still, the 28-year-old has played 23 times in the Premier League this season, but he’s only recently begun to show Pep Guardiola his best form. He’s been behind arguably City’s all-time greatest player David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and now Bernardo Silva in the pecking order, so it’s been tough to get minutes in the biggest games.
Injuries to De Bruyne and Fernandinho, and the fact Silva can’t play two games a week anymore, has given him more of a chance.
That shouldn’t mean Gundogan goes ahead and signs a new deal right away because the only real reason he was given the amount of chances he has been is due to others getting injured, so he should bide his time and see just how much Guardiola values him as an important member of the team.
He can play in the six role and across the midfield, so on paper that’s very valuable, but it appears he wants to see that proven.
He doesn’t seem to want to settle for being a squad player and fair play to him, because he’s tremendously gifted and would play more minutes in most, if not all, other teams in Europe.
His contract is up at the end of next season, so he should wait until the end of this campaign and see just how important City make him feel before signing an extension that would probably be the last big contract of his career.
Manchester City fans, just how valuable has Gundogan been over the years? How desperate are you to keep him? Join the discussion by commenting below…