It's a strange time to target the injured Gundogan. Will he really leave Dortmund to play in Premier League?
Borussia Dortmund is suffering from a huge setback. No time for relief yet. Another setback could come into sight round about January.
There are too many ups and downs on the field. Sure Borussia Dortmund beat SC Freiburg 5-0 in Bundesliga and defeated Olympique de Marseille in Champions League 3-0. However they suffered from some painful defeats too: 2-1 at SSC Napoli and last weeks 2-0 against Borussia Monchengladbach in Bundesliga.
Also there are some off the field issues too which concerns the eight-time German Championship winner from Germany’s Ruhr valley.
The star midfielder Gundogan has been out for the past month with a back injury. His return to the field is still questionable and could stay that way till 2014.
Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc said to German tabloid Bild about the 22-year-old: “He’s just not making much progress. We do not know when he can play again.”
Now there could be another setback for Dortmund on the horizon concerning Ilkay Gundogan.
No one knows for sure how long it will take Gundogan to get 100% healthy again and a back injury is no minor setback. Not very conservative to bet on an injured player who has a decent clinical record. Does nobody remember Owen Hargreaves?
But let’s say that the report by Jack Wilson of the Daily Star is on the scent and Manchester United and Arsenal are preparing a bid, is Ilkay Gundogan really willing to leave Dortmund?
Sure it could happen, but it seems quite unlikely.
Players adore the hot tempered and emotional Jurgen Klopp and respect his management skills rightly so. Players like Nuri Sahin and United’s Shinji Kagawa exceeded under Klopp and fall from grace elsewhere.
Beyond that Borussia Dortmund had a nice run the last couple of years reaching the Champions League final last year and winning the German Championship back to back in the season of 2010-2011 and in 2011-2012. Dortmund obviously playing on a high level with Ilkay Gundogan being the cornerstone of their success. A transfer from a athletic point of view couldn’t therefore be a reason all alone.
Sure, one might say Ilkay Gundogan wants to play abroad. Learning about a new culture is always a reason for a transfer. But after playing for seven clubs in 13 years a change could not merely be a cause for the 22-year-old who still has time to live and play abroad later on.
Besides Gundogan might beperfectly happy to play professional football only a 30-minute-drive away from his hometown.
So why should he leave Dortmund? General manager Hans-Joachim Watzke said a week ago in an upbeat mood: “We want to extend [Gundogan’s contract]. If Ilkay wants this too, we talk about numbers.”
What do you think? Will a transfer to Manchester United or Arsenal come true any time soon?
image: © peterfuchs