Four playable Gundogan positions in coach Xavi’s scheme

Rookie Ilkay Gundogan can become an important tactical key of Barca from next season.

According to  Mundo Deportivo  , at Barca, Gundogan will mainly play in one of two positions as a winger, sometimes moving deep down the left wing to capitalize on his penetrating ability. The German midfielder can also move into the middle of the holding midfield, but only in case of emergency.

Rodri’s progress and adaptation in the holding midfield role led Gundogan to be rotated to other roles at Man City, in the direction of making the most of the German midfielder’s attacking ability, instead of letting him play in midfield. This was clearly shown last season, when Gundogan was put by coach Pep Guardiola behind the striker Erling Haaland, and thanks to that, easily approached the goal, scoring regularly.

Therefore, coach Xavi will have many options. Gundogan’s field of vision is very wide, with a high ability to launch effective lanes, making it completely possible for him to play a constructive role. Gundogan scored eight goals last season in the Premier League and 11 in all competitions. He knows how to coordinate, interact with teammates and has the ability to fill in the position of full-backs when they rise.

Gundogan is also expected to easily adapt to the competition systems at Barca thanks to seven seasons at Man City with Guardiola – a coach with many creative and demanding tactics. In addition, meeting old teammates like Robert Lewandowski or Marc-Andre ter Stegen will help him adapt faster.

Since Lionel Messi left in the summer of 2021, Barca lacks a free kick specialist. They have not scored from a direct free kick since May 2, 2021, against Valencia in La Liga. Gundogan has scored a free kick this year, against Everton at the end of the 2022-2023 Premier League. It was a technical and precise kick. He can be the free kick Barca is missing. At 32 years old and will be 33 in October, Gundogan also has experience playing in the top leagues. His leadership qualities can help Barca make more accurate decisions. Gundogan is also a cool-headed player who rarely loses his temper.

On June 26, Barca confirmed to sign two years with Gundogan after the German midfielder expired his contract with Man City and was free to leave. “The contract has a two-year term and a one-year extension. The release clause is worth $436 million,” the Camp Nou team announced.

Gundogan is Barca’s first rookie this summer. The La Liga champions are also chasing Joao Cancelo, Marcelo Brozovic, Giovani Lo Celso and Adrien Rabiot. In the opposite direction, they liberated Busquets and Jordi Alba, and considered removing Clement Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti, Sergino Dest, Nico Gonzalez, Francisco Trincao, Ansu Fati, Franck Kessie and Ferran Torres.

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