Ilkay Gundogan shows why he is the perfect Michael Carrick replacement for Manchester United

Ilkay Gundogan

Ilkay Gundogan showed exactly why Manchester United are believed to be chasing his signature throughout Borussia Dortmund's victory over Hertha Berlin.

Manchester United linked (as per Sky Sports) Ilkay Gundogan emerged as a star performer during Borussia Dortmund's comprehensive 2-0 home victory over Hertha Berlin.

As Jurgen Klopp's side maintained their hopes of a Europa League finish, the German midfielder displayed all the positive attributes that have apparently put him on United's radar. 

The 24-year-old will not extend his contract which expires in June 2016 and Dortmund expect to sell him this summer rather than lose him on a free transfer. This could see the one-time Bundesliga winner complete a cut-price switch to the Premier League under Louis van Gaal.

Dictating proceedings on the right-side of a defensive midfield duo, he attempted a match-best 76 passes against Berlin - 89.5% of which were accurate. The system adopted under van Gaal at Manchester United requires tremendous composure and an eye for the perfect pass; traits the German possesses in abundance. 

Despite playing a more restricted role than usual, he also displayed his impressive playmaking ability. He recorded two key passes, while completing all eight of his attempted long balls. He may even have snatched a goal himself, had he been more accurate from long range. He managed two shots in total; one was blocked, while the other missed the target. 

Perhaps most importantly, Gundogan didn't shun his defensive duties. He, too, played a role in BVB's clean sheet, weighing in with one tackle and an interception. It was thanks to a fantastic level of solidarity that Berlin managed just two shots all afternoon, neither of which challenged Mitchell Langerak's goal.

A potential replacement for Michael Carrick in his final years, there is no denying that Gundogan would be an ideal signing for the Red Devils. Indeed, since returning from a torrid spell of injuries he has certainly shown the form that warrants a move to another of Europe's elite clubs.

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