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Pep Guardiola says Ilkay Gundogan "will be out for a long time" with knee injury


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Manchester City v Watford - Premier League Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Everything was almost perfect for Manchester City in their Premier League win against Watford: it was a great performance, with a clean sheet and very good defensive work.

The reason why it was "almost perfect" it's because the Citizens will lose their best midfielder for a long time.

“I’m so sad for Ilkay [Gundogan] as it looks like we’ll be without him for a long time - we will know more tomorrow but it doesn’t look good.

“We’ll know the extent of the injury when he has been properly assessed by the doctor tomorrow so until then we cannot know for sure, but I think he may be out for some time.

“He is very sad, of course, as we all are.”

Pep Guardiola, source:

These are horrible news. Gundogan injured his right knee — the same that sidelined him for four months while still at Borussia Dortmund and caused him to miss the first month of his City career — in the first half against Watford, and initial reports mention a possible crucial ligament injury, which could possibily end Gundogan's first season in Manchester.

Ilkay has been fantastic since joining the club, one of the few performers in the squad able to stay consistent among an inconsistent run of results for the team as a whole. Missing Gundogan for possibly the rest of the season is a major blow to City's title hopes in England and Europe, and Pep might go into the transfer market in search of a replacement.

Not only does Gundogan's injury affect City's longterm hopes, it also causes a giant selection headache for Guardiola ahead of Sunday's huge clash with Arsenal: only Fernando and Yaya Touré (as well as youngster Aleix García) are available to face the Gunners since Fernandinho will serve the final game of his suspension this weekend, which means that Fabian Delph may have a chance to start or at least play for the first time since September.

Get well soon, Gundogan. We really, really need you.