He has the prestige of being Pep Guardiola’s first ever signing as a Manchester City manager. He has been a key player for the club both on and off the pitch and that accounts for why he now wears the captain armband.
He’s also one of Guardiola’s most trusted players. Look no further than Ilkay Gundogan. But like some of City’s key players, his contract is running out. It’s about that time once again to make the decision whether to extend or to leave.
For the German, the decision should be an easy one. That’s for many reasons. He is a valuable asset in the team and a leader that other players look up to for inspiration and guidance.
The 31-year-old also wants to stay longer at the club. So all the factors point to one outcome; a contract extension that will see him extend his stay at the Etihad.
However, there have not been any move yet to renew the deal.
While on international duty with Germany, the midfielder spoke on the issue when questioned by journalists.
“There are no concrete talks, but we have a good relationship. I’m still patient. There’s no hurry,” said Gundogan when speaking to Kicker.
“I’m very happy at Manchester City, football-wise there isn’t a more attractive place at the moment. I can imagine staying there beyond 2023.”
With his current City contract set to expire in June 2023, it’s time to start working on an extension to secure his future. He is one of the players that still have a lot to give to the team and could even work with the club beyond his playing days.
His interest in football management makes him a candidate to work at any level for the Blues in future. He is currently acquiring his coaching badges and regularly spends time with City’s Academy players helping to groom them for the future.
But what will be a stronger reason for his contract renewal is his current contribution on the pitch as the team strives to break new grounds.
It’s common knowledge that one of the most important qualities any player must possess for Guardiola has to be exceptional quality on the ball and total commitment to the cause. In Gundogan you have those attributes, and then some.
The German midfielder must be a joy to work with both for the manager and for his teammates who chose to elect him as their captain.
Although at 31 most players witness a drop in form, that has not been the case for the midfielder. He is still one of the most influential and productive players for City and one that Guardiola needs to play more often, especially now that the team needs some inspiration on the pitch.
Recent results in the league have not been great. There’s a need to shake things up a bit. For a player who was City’s top goal scorer last season he has only started 15 games this term and scored five times.
With crucial games coming up in the next several weeks as the season winds down, Gundogan could prove to be a vital part of the team. Alongside Jack Grealish, who now more than ever has a point to prove, the duo can give the team a much-needed boost in the pursuit of more silverware.