In light of Jurgen Klopp’s upcoming departure from the Signal Iduna Park at the tail end of the season, Borussia Dortmund are now a team who seemingly find themselves in a state of limbo.
The 2014/15 campaign has certainly been one to forget for the plucky German outfit, and with a whole host of top European clubs likely to be sniffing around BVB’s most high profile talent this summer, the former Bundesliga champions really could be entering a somewhat transitional phase in the not too distant future.
The likes of Mats Hummels, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitarayn could all soon be following Klopp out of Dortmund if the circumstances prove suitable in the next few months – regardless of how notoriously supportive their current set of fans prove to be.
However, with Ilkay Gundogan reportedly going down as Louis van Gaal’s prime summer target in the run up to the new campaign, will we soon be seeing the German international turning out at Old Trafford next season, and would the midfield dynamo really suit playing for Manchester United in the ever testing reams of Premier League football?
Well, by most accounts of those who have consistently watched the Bundesliga star on a regular basis, Ilkay Gundogan would certainly be able to do the business for van Gaal should the Dutchman follow through on his reported interest in the star this summer.
In deriving from a Turkish-German background much like Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, the Dortmund no. 8 is also blessed with some classy composure on the ball and an ability to pick out a fine pass whenever called upon. The centre-midfielder can also provide the tackles for his team and begin to break up play, but he is invariably much more effective in the final third with the ball at his feet.
Gundogan goes down as an extremely intelligent player, someone gifted with the technical grace to be able to glide across the pitch at ease – and at the early age of only 24-years-old – the BVB favourite still has many years left in him to perfect his game even further.
There have nonetheless been a few question marks raised over his ability to stay fit for an entire season however, as injuries have certainly hampered the Dortmund star so far in his career. The classy midfield maestro failed to play any role in his nation’s World Cup triumph in Brazil last summer after all, so careful thought must be applied in any potential deal likely to take place next season.
Yet if such a hurdle can be effectively dealt with by the player in question, there is absolutely no reason to suggest that Ilkay Gundogan won’t go on to potentially become one of the stand out players of his generation.
A move to Manchester United next season would therefore seem like a positive step for the German international should his time at Dortmund come to a natural end. Alongside the likes of Daley Blind and Ander Herrera in the heart of the Red Devils midfield, Gundogan would seemingly fit in perfectly with the style of football trying to be achieved by Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford, as his side look to push on for that ever illusive Premier League title.
The former FC Nürnberg man would add that extra bit of flair and efficiency into a squad already possessing some of the most high profile talents the current game has to offer.
With 33-year-old Michael Carrick looking likely to call time on his Manchester United career sooner or later, Borussia Dortmund’s current no. 8 could turn out to be the perfect replacement to not only emulate what the former West Ham and Tottenham star has achieved so far at Old Trafford, but also someone worthy of improving on where Carrick has left off at United.
The good news seemingly continues for Red Devils fans wanting the land the German star this summer though – as with just over one year reaming on his current contract at the Signal Iduna Park this season – Jurgen Klopp’s former favourite could perhaps be sourced on the cheap for Manchester United by the end of the season.
As the signing of high profile Borussia Dortmund stars hasn’t always worked out for Louis van Gaal’s side in the past however – just ask former United man Shinji Kagawa – perhaps a degree of caution must be applied with any similar deal likely to take place this summer. Just watch this space…