Ilkay Gundogan fired in 13 Premier League goals as they stormed to the Premier League title during the 2020/2021 season. Kevin De Bruyne missed large parts of the season through injury, so the German stepped up and captained the side throughout the majority of the campaign.
This carried over into the 2021/22 season, where it was his brace on the final Premier League day of the season which secured the Premier League title for City. He showed the leadership and experience that Arsenal so desperately lack whenever one of Granit Xhaka or Partey are missing from the midfield.
The pair worked together when Arteta was a part of Guardiola’s coaching stuff for three years. This could benefit Arsenal in a future deal, as it did with the Gunners’ capture of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko in the summer. However, Arsenal will have to beat Barcelona if they want to secure his signature.
According to Sky Germany, Barcelona are very interested in signing Gundogan, who will be a free agent in June 2023. The player is reportedly waiting to see what happens with the future of Pep Guardiola.
The Gunners have been linked to the midfielder before as Arsene Wenger reportedly tried to sign him in 2015 – a year before he joined Manchester City – but a deal never managed to materialise. It is now time for Arteta to attempt the same but succeed in his pursuit of the German.
The versatility of the German is a major reason why Arsenal should also look to pursue a deal. He is best in the No.8 role, but he has covered for Rodri in the holding midfield role and excelled. This was highlighted in Manchester City’s 6-3 win against Manchester United, where Gundogan filled in as the anchor man and had an almost perfect performance.
Edu must look to sign more midfield reinforcements. Granit Xhaka and Partey are two players whose places in the team are currently untouchable.
Albert Sambi Lokonga and Mohamed Elneny are the two backup players, but their levels in terms of experience and quality do not compare with the two starters. Gundogan would be able to bridge the quality gap, and a deal could be easier to do as the midfielder is yet to sign a new contract, with his current deal expiring at the end of the season.
His biggest criticism is that he has had multiple injury problems in the past, but if he is in consistent rotation with Xhaka and Partey, it means that the likelihood of him suffering an injury decreases. Also, with him being signed on a cheap deal or potentially a free transfer, the risks are certainly minimal.
Thomas Partey has been excellent for Arsenal in the early weeks of this season and is a crucial piece of Mikel Arteta’s midfield jigsaw. This has been epitomised by the influence of the 29-year-old when he is included in the starting line-up.
Arsenal’s likelihood to win a game increases by a large margin when he is playing compared to when he is absent from kick-off. Since his arrival in 2020, he has been an automatic starter under Arteta.
It is for this reason that an alternative option that can offer a similar amount of quality is needed and Edu can do this by exploring Gundogan’s transfer situation. The Manchester City midfielder would be the ideal midfield acquisition.
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