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Ilkay Gundogan joins Manchester City on a four-year deal

Manchester City have announced the signing of Ilkay Gundogan from Borussia Dortmund on a four-year deal. It comes as no surprise that the German international has joined City after so much speculation, but it was announced in a rather creative way. It takes a quick search of “@MCFC announce gundogan” to find out why it was done in this way. The midfielder quickly made a good impression on City fans with this tweet:

Speaking about his move to the official website, Gundogan said:

“I’m thrilled to have signed for Manchester City, when I learned of City’s interest my heart was set on coming here and things have moved very quickly.

“Now I have a new challenge and that is to achieve great things with City. The opportunity to work with a coach like Pep Guardiola is something I am really looking forward to and I am flattered to be the first signing the club has made this summer.

“I can promise the City fans I will give everything to help us win titles both in England and the Champions League. These are exciting times.

“I have my best years ahead of me and I think we can achieve great things together. I can’t wait to begin this new chapter in my career.”

So, we’ve heard a lot about Gundogan, but who is he?

Gundogan is a 25-year-old German international who primarily plays as a box-to-box midfielder. He began his senior career at VfL Bochum, before moving to 1. FC Nürnberg in 2009. In 2011, he was transferred to Borussia Dortmund for a fee of around €4 million and went on to make 105 appearances in the Bundesliga. Key moments during his half decade at Borussia Dortmund include:

  • Scoring a 120th minute goal to send Dortmund into the DFB-Pokal final.
  • Winning the domestic double in 2012.
  • Scoring the equaliser against Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.
  • Scored in Dortmund’s 4-2 victory in the DFL-Supercup final against Bayern Munich.

According to WhoScored.com, Gundogan’s main strengths are passing, dribbling, key passes, finishing and a high level of concentration. He boasted a pass success rate of 87.9% and averaged 78.5 passes per game – more than any City player this season, with David Silva coming the closest with an average of 57.8 per game.

One talking point about his move is the injury situation. He is currently out with a dislocated knee but remains confident of returning to action in late August or September at the latest. One thing that is worth noting is that he has made 73 appearances in the last two seasons at Dortmund, and isn’t necessarily as injury prone as some like to point out. He did, however, miss out on a year of football due to a back injury sustained on international duty, but this was due to surgery rather than the injury itself. Reportedly, Gundogan didn’t necessarily need to have the surgery, but as he played more and more the injury would start to take its toll and the operation was done to prevent future problems.

Gundogan sent a departing message to Borussia Dortmund fans:

One thing that is sure with the Gundogan announcement is the organisation going on behind the scenes. We’ve often seen transfer windows of chaos and panic buys, but this one is set to be different. Welcome to Manchester, Ilkay!

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