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Ilkay Gundogan Praised For 'Intelligent' And 'Mature' Reply To Erling Haaland Question, He Was Honest

Jack Kenmare

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Ilkay Gundogan Praised For 'Intelligent' And 'Mature' Reply To Erling Haaland Question, He Was Honest

Featured Image Credit: ITV Sport

Ilkay Gundogan doesn't think Manchester City would have beaten Real Madrid in last season's Champions League semi-final, even with Erling Haaland in their ranks.

Premier League champions City confirmed the signing of Haaland in June after the club agreed to pay his release clause – believed to be worth around £64 million – to German side Borussia Dortmund.

The 22-year-old forward has penned a five-year deal at the Etihad worth a reported £375,000-a-week.

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Haaland netted 42 times in 39 games for club and country last season – a record he will be hoping to emulate in the coming months at City.

But midfielder Ilkay Gundogan believes his influence wouldn't have mattered in their Champions League semi-final defeat to Real Madrid.

Pep Guardiola's side were knocked out by Los Blancos in dramatic fashion. They conceded two goals in the dying embers before Karim Benzema netted a penalty to seal Madrid's place in the final.

Months later and Gundogan was asked the following by a reporter: "If Erling [Haaland] was in your team, would you have beaten Real Madrid in the Champions Leauge semi-final in May?"


In the interview with ITV Sport, Gundogan paused for a moment before saying: "I mean honestly, I would say no."

He added: "I don't think we've lost the game because we didn't have a physical striker, No. That's not what I believe. I believe we lost the game because we didn't play mature enough in the last minutes of the game.

"To concede two goals in the last five minutes of the game is definitely something that should not happen."

Gundogan's measured response to the question was praised by many on social media. One fan said: "Think it's a good answer from him and he's right. They weren't missing more goals in that game or anything, having a good striker won't make you not concede three goals in five minutes."

Another wrote: "A very levelheaded response," while a third commented: "That's such a good answer ngl."

Haaland will not doubt play a crucial part in Manchester City's upcoming campaign, both in league and cup competitions, but he struggled to find his feet in the club's Community Shield defeat to Liverpool on Saturday.

That being said, former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane thinks he is a "brilliant" player who will score plenty of goals in the coming months.

Ahead of kick-off on Saturday, Keane told ITV: "He's a brilliant, brilliant player. Good age, 22, he hasn’t peaked yet, he’s working with a brilliant team and a brilliant manager.

"He’s got all the attributes, you can’t imagine him not scoring 20 goals, you just can’t.

"If he stays fit, he’s obviously got the right attitude what a signing, you used a word there… exciting, that’s exactly what this young kid is and I’m excited to watch him over the next few months."

Topics: Erling Haaland, Manchester City, Premier League, Ilkay Gundogan, Champions League, Real Madrid

Jack Kenmare
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