Five Possible Manchester City Replacements For Injured Ilkay Gundogan
Manchester City have been dealt a major blow, with Ilkay Gundogan nailed on to miss the rest of the season after suffering cruciate knee ligament damage in the win over Watford.
The summer signing will be "out for a long time" according to Pep Guardiola and such a devastating injury to one of their best performers this season may well alter City's transfer plans.
City have just three established central midfielders in their ranks in Yaya Toure (who accidentally drank brandy out of a jug by the way), Fernandinho and Fernandinho. Of course Fabian Delph does also play for Manchester City but has made just three appearances in all competitions this season and the fact that he is never not injured means he is pretty much just there to do videos for the club's YouTube channel.
So it's clear, in their current predicament, City need to look at some other options to replace the injured Gundogan.
Here are five potential replacements.
The Belgian would be perfect for City. He has great energy and would have no problem meeting Pep Guardiola's demands for pressing, but at the same time he is also a very composed footballer, who is adept on the ball. The Roma man has been linked in the past and he surely wouldn't pass up the opportunity to work with and learn from Guardiola in the future, though a January move might be a bit too soon.
The highly-rated Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder has played against City twice this season in the Champions League and reports in the past have indicated that Guardiola is a huge fan of the German U21 international. The 20-year old is a tidy player on the ball and has enough about him to fill the gaping hole left by Gundogan. It's definitely a move that could happen, if City move quickly enough.
Another one of City's top targets, Weigl has made 20 appearances for Dortmund this season and is recognised as Thomas Tuchel's first-choice central midfielder. He opened his account for the club in style with a lovely goal against Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League group stage and plays with unbelievable maturity for a player just 21-years old. Now that Gundogan is injured, City should be making moves to sign another top-level midfield player from BVB.
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A different type of midfeld player, Portuguese man William Carvalho has been talked about for a number of years. He has progressed through the ranks at Sporting Lisbon and has been heavily linked with a host of Premier League clubs in the past - including City. Recent reports suggested City see Carvalho, a fully-fledged international with Euro 2016 champions Portugal, as the primary long-term replacement for Yaya Toure.
A physical monster, signing him would give Fernandinho the licence to affect the game further up the pitch. But the 24-year old certainly wont come on the cheap.
City might not even need to spend any more to fill the position left in Gundogan, as they already have a promising technically gifted midfielder in their ranks. Aleix Garcia has made five appearances for the club this term, including two starts in the EFL Cup in games against Swansea, where he scored his first goal of the club, and at Old Trafford against Manchester United, where he was one of the top performers in a 1-0 defeat.
The former Villarreal man is so confident on the ball that he can genuinely be City's answer to Sergio Busquets and with Gundogan's injury, he should get more opportunities to show what he can do.
If none of the five options aforementioned are up to scratch, City can always go back in for free agent Joey Barton. His impeccable discipline and behaviour will definitely give the team the boost they need. Failing that, a big campaign to get Willo Flood, the former City youth player who was threatened at knife-point at his house by his own fan, would be quite something.
Him returning and firing City to the Premier League title would be the perfect underdog story. Forget #Pogback, #FloodTheNation would blow it out of the water.
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