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Man City star Gundogan proving himself the Premier League's No.1 German

04-Jan-2021, 04:02 pm

Gundogan Havertz Werner GFX

While Kai Havertz watched the majority of Chelsea's defeat to Manchester Cityfrom the bench and Timo Werner's most memorable moment was accidentally kicking the corner flag, there was still a Germany international enjoying himself at Stamford Bridge.

After moving from the Bundesliga for a combined £120 million ($150m) over the summer, Havertz and Werner have become the poster boys for Chelsea's woes so far this term as Frank Lampard struggles to knit together his expensively-assembled squad.

The attacking duo could do worse than look to their international team-mate for inspiration, with Gundogan having become one of Pep Guardiola's most consistent performers since joining in the same summer as the Catalan back in 2017.

Ahead of Sunday's clash, the City midfielder said he has confidence that both Havertz and Werner will be successful with Chelsea, but warned that it can take time to acclimatise to life in England.

"It is not always easy, especially when you are young like they are," he said. "And with the coronavirus situation it makes it harder.

"It takes time to adapt. It’s a different league, different players and a different kind of football.

"But I am sure they will adapt, improve step by step. I am confident they will be happy over here in England over the next few years.”

Gundogan is a modest star;happy for his more high-profileteam-mates to take the glory.

But he has become a crucial part of City's recent resurgence that has seen them win five of their last seven Premier League matches to keep them on the heels of the leaders, particularly if they win their games in hand.

The midfielder has now scored in three of City's last four Premier League matches and has established himself as a regular starter since recovering from his own nasty Covid-19 experience.

The 30-year-old recently admitted that it took him some time to recover from the illness after testing positive in pre-season, and he could yet become even more crucialshould a recent outbreak of the virus at the club have an impact on any more players after six players missed the Chelsea clash as they continue to self-isolate.

Guardiola believes his side are getting their rhythm back with quick, clever passing picking apart opponents and, at his best, Gundogan can be the player tosetthe tempo for City.

The 30-year-old playmaker is able to link the defence and attack with his intelligent passing and, playing alongside defensive midfielder Rodri, he has more ability to get forward and cause danger.

He was the furthest player forward and in a central position when he gave City an 18th-minute lead at Stamford Bridge, turning brilliantly on the edge of the box before firing in a low shot beyond Edouard Mendy.

Three minutes later he was picking up the ball deep inside his own half from Ruben Dias to set up an attack that within seconds saw Phil Foden sweep in a second.

They proved to betwo standout moments of an all-round impressive 75-minute performance before he substituted so as to be wrapped up in cotton wool ahead of Wednesday's Carabao Cup semi-final with neighbours Manchester United.

A hectic schedule along with so many positive Covid-19 tests on means that Guardiola will have to manage his squad carefully. Fortunately, the reliability and consistency of Gundogan gives him options.

With Gabriel Jesus one of those unavailable at Chelsea and Sergio Aguero still working his way back to full fitness after knee surgery in the summer, City did not have a striker available to start at Stamford Bridge.

Kevin De Bruyne, so often City's creative force, was pushed further forward as a 'false nine' due to Guardiola's belief that Gundogan could help fill the Belgium playmaker's shoes.

De Bruyne was brilliant in his newposition against his formerclub, scoring the third himsef having already claimed yet another assist with a cheeky nutmeg pass for Foden's second.

Guardiola's systemsrequireclever players such as De Bruyne to make themwork andGundogan, in particular,has to finda balance between being positive and pragmatic.


Source : goal.com

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