Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan represents everything Manchester United’s engine room is desperately calling out for ahead of next season.
The German international is a natural playmaker, but exceptionally mobile and tenacious off the ball, he offers great pace, creativity and work-rate in the middle of the park. Most importantly, the 24 year-old’s agility and ability to venture forward with the ball at his feet would add a dynamic dimension to the Red Devils’ midfield, allowing for a smoother and quicker transition of play.
In many ways, he’s exactly what Tom Cleverley is supposed to be, and there are few central midfielders in European football that would make a better partner to Michael Carrick, sharing the Old Trafford veteran’s intelligence in possession but contrasting greatly in terms of style and physique.
And unlike the youthful United flop, Gundogan has already proved his worth at the highest level, last term pushing the Black-Yellows all the way to a Champions League final through his dynamic playmaking displays, which accordingly earned the Die Mannschaft midfielder a spot in the illustrious ESM Team of the Year.
Gundogan’s future will reach a crossroads this summer; he’s got just a year left on his Westfalen contract, and despite missing the vast majority of the current campaign through injury, negotiations of a new deal are yet to get underway.
Manchester United and Real Madrid have emerged as the BVB star’s likeliest suitors, but the Red Devils stand a much greater chance of piping Los Blancos with Jurgen Klopp at the Old Trafford helm.