This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Ilkay Gundogan enjoyed a superb midfield display as Germany thumped Belarus in a European Championship qualifier on Saturday evening.
The Manchester City star played alongside Joshua Kimmich and Toni Kroos in the centre as Joachim Low’s side ran out 4-0 winners in Group C.
Gundogan even provided the assist for Kroos’ goal, Germany’s fourth of the night, as they booked their place at Euro 2020.
The 29-year-old has made nine starts in the Premier League, completing 90 minutes on seven occasions, while also making four appearances in the Champions League.
Throughout the game at the weekend, Gundogan had 97 touches of the ball as Germany dominated possession, having over 70% of the ball, per WhoScored.
He registered a total of four key passes and had a pass accuracy of 86%.
Gundogan did not complete a dribble but was more concerned with moving the ball instead of carrying it.
He also made one tackle and had two shots on goal, with one going off target and one being blocked, while he also took one accurate corner.
Gundogan is rarely given the opportunity to create at City.
That is natural, with the club boasting the likes of David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva in their ranks.
He has not laid on a single assist in the Premier League thus far this season, though he has scored, netting in the 3-0 win over Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium.
This performance, though, will surely show his manager, Pep Guardiola, that he is capable of playing in a more creative role.
Gundogan has never once played in an attacking midfield role for City, making 89 appearances in central midfield and 40 in a defensive role.
That he has the string to his bow where he can create chances and lay on assists is surely a boost to his club manager, who has been reminded of his capabilities in a slightly more advanced position.