Former Manchester United target out of shape

Ilkay Gundogan

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has gained weight after missing most of last season.

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan struggled with a back injury all season and has piled on the pounds as a result.

The 23-year-old hasn't played since August last year because of an ongoing back problem, which has also ruled him out of the World Cup with Germany, and as a result, he has gained a significant amount of weight.

Gundogan was a Manchester United target before he signed a new contract at Dortmund that will see him through until 2016, and he will need to focus on getting back into fitness ahead of the new season.

There are photos all over the internet showing the German's weight gain. One shows him sitting with a fan, while another shows him on the training ground.

The Germany international has found it difficult to train as a result of the nerve damage he suffered in his back, but faces a tough pre-season regime if he is to be fit for the new season in August.

Gundogan played just 56 minutes in the Bundesliga last season - in Dortmund's opening day win against Augsburg - and missed the remainder of the campaign.

He was a target of United and Arsenal among others but ended speculation about his future by signing a new contract with the German club in April.

Sporting director Michael Zorc said: 'We are very pleased with this deal against the backdrop of the injury-related situation and hope that Ilkay will contribute his full potential in the coming season for BVB'.

In order to return to his best, Gundogan will need to start some serious training to shift the weight he has gained during his absence before he even thinks about getting back on the pitch.

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