Manchester City

Martin Keown: Ilkay Gundogan has shown that Fernandinho is not irreplaceable

Martin Keown: Ilkay Gundogan has shown that Fernandinho is not irreplaceable

Looking at Manchester City’s incredible 14-game winning run on their way to the Premier League title, a few players stick out like a sore thumb. 

The likes of Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero were all incredible in those victories and will deservedly continue to take most of the acclaim.

But as well as the trio, Ilkay Gundogan also performed at an exceptionally high level and has since come in for praise from a former Arsenal defender.

“With Fernandinho missing much of the second half of the campaign through injury, Gundogan has started all but one match in the 14-game winning run that has carried City to the title,” Martin Keown wrote in his Daily Mail column.

“It was one of many bold decisions that Guardiola got right. It has often been claimed that Fernandinho is irreplaceable. That is not the case any more.”

Albeit not exactly a like-for-like replacement for Fernandinho, Gundogan has filled in well for the Brazilian and Keown is right to highlight the role he played in that run of wins.

In that holding midfield position, Gundogan shouldered responsibility brilliantly. The 28-year-old is never one to shy away from the ball, constantly looking to play it quickly and forwards after receiving it.

“[Pep] Guardiola has never lost faith in his midfielder,” Keown wrote earlier in his column.

With his Manchester City contract set to expire next summer, the Germany international’s career at the Etihad could be coming to an end.

But even so and despite missing so much games due to injury, what a servant Gundogan has been for the Citizens.

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