HomeFeatured ArticlesA New Chapter at Barcelona for Man City's Captain

A New Chapter at Barcelona for Man City’s Captain

Man City bids farewell to Gundogan

Simon Stone from the BBC is reporting that Manchester City’s talismanic captain, Ilkay Gundogan, has set his sights on Catalonia. After an outstanding season with the club, the 32-year-old will be trading the Etihad for the Nou Camp as he agrees to a free transfer to Barcelona at the end of this month.

Despite City’s best attempts to retain their captain, including the proposal of a new contract, Gundogan appears to have sealed a more enticing three-year deal with the reigning Spanish champions.

Gundogan’s Contribution to the Treble-Winning Season

Pep Guardiola, City’s mastermind manager, was particularly eager to secure Gundogan for further seasons. His influence and involvement were pivotal to City’s triumphant Treble run this season. His campaign tally stands at 51 appearances and 11 goals, underscoring his integral role in the team.

The German international showed his calibre during the crunch phase of the season. In his final seven appearances, he scored an impressive six goals. His memorable double in the 2-1 FA Cup final victory over city rivals Manchester United is a testament to his stellar contribution.

On the Champions League stage too, Gundogan was ever-present, playing the entire 90 minutes as Man City clinched the title with a 1-0 triumph over Inter Milan.

Earlier this month, Guardiola had voiced his hopes of retaining Gundogan, hinting that City’s director, Txiki Begiristain, was making efforts to secure his services.

A look at Gundogan’s illustrious Man City career

Gundogan’s departure coincides with City finalising a £30m transfer deal for Chelsea’s Croatian midfielder, Mateo Kovacic. After his arrival, the dynamic at the club may undergo some changes.

A £20m acquisition from Borussia Dortmund in 2016, Gundogan’s tenure at the Etihad has seen him make 304 appearances and score 60 goals. His trophy cabinet brims with 14 titles, including five Premier League titles, a Champions League title, two FA Cups, four Carabao Cups and two Community Shields. He was appointed club captain at the start of the 2022-23 season, following the exit of Brazilian midfield stalwart Fernandinho.

Gundogan’s Legacy at City

While there was a clear desire to keep Gundogan, the club wasn’t prepared to retain him at any cost.

Gundogan, despite his superior form and unmatched footballing intelligence, is not getting any younger. City, standing tall as the Treble winners, hold a position of strength. Guardiola’s magnetic influence continues to attract top-tier talent, evident in the impending arrival of Kovacic.

Undoubtedly, Gundogan will be fondly remembered at City, much like club legends David Silva, Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany. His move to Barcelona, however, signals a new chapter in his illustrious career. His time in Manchester has come to an end, but the memories he leaves behind are sure to last a lifetime.

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