Pep Guardiola surprised many when he started Ilkay Gundogan in Manchester City's Champions League group stage opener against Borussia Mönchengladbach, especially because the German midfielder was on the bench when the lineup was first announced on Tuesday. There was a rain delay, then a training session on Wednesday morning when David Silva felt a minor injury, and Guardiola then decided to have Gundogan make his debut at Etihad Stadium.
And as you can see in the video above, Ily had a simply spectacular debut. He totally bossed midfield, and every bit of his talents showed at Borussia Dortmund was also on display against Gladbach. His vision, his passing, his quick dribbling, his off-ball movement and defensive awareness, everything. He almost scored, too, and was really unlucky to have Yann Sommer stop his shot in the first half.
Gundogan is a world-class midfielder, a truly fantastic player who was born to play in Pep Guardiola's system. He, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne will rotate as the players ahead of Fernandinho in City's midfield, and after Wednesday's peformance, Gundogan proved he is definitely as good as the other two. And remember, he's 25 years old. What a player, what a debut, what an exciting future for the Sky Blues.