Ilkay Gundogan, a prominent player for Manchester City, has recently left the club to join Barcelona on a free transfer. As City bids farewell to their skipper for the fourth time in five years, fans are considering who should replace Gundogan as the club’s captain.
Ilkay Gundogan, a key player for Manchester City, recently completed a move to Barcelona on a free transfer. Despite Pep Guardiola’s desire to retain the German midfielder, disagreements over contract length led to his departure to Camp Nou.
This marks the fourth instance in the past five years where City has seen their captain leave the club on a free transfer.
Ilkay Gundogan’s Legacy and the Need for a New Captain
While previous captains Fernandinho, David Silva, and Vincent Kompany were legends in their own right, they had already passed their prime when they departed. In contrast, Gundogan’s departure comes at a time when he is playing some of the best football of his career.
A trusted player for Guardiola, Gundogan’s contributions were crucial in important matches, scoring vital goals in the Premier League and FA Cup. Replacing him will be a significant challenge for the Blues.
Potential Replacements and Leadership Candidates
Manchester City has already started the process of finding a replacement for Gundogan, making the signing of Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea. However, they are actively seeking more options.
Declan Rice was a target, but City walked away from the deal after Arsenal increased their bid. This raises the question of not only replacing Gundogan’s skills but also finding a new leader for the team.
Ruben Dias as a Strong Contender
According to a survey conducted by MEN Sport, 47.2% of voters believe Ruben Dias should be the next captain of Manchester City. Although younger than other contenders, Dias has proven his leadership qualities since joining the club.
His return from injury in February coincided with the team’s dramatic improvement in form, with City not having lost a game in which Dias played since the beginning of 2023. Dias’ heart-on-the-sleeve defending and organizational skills make him a solid long-term option for the captaincy.
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Kevin De Bruyne as an Experienced Candidate
Kevin De Bruyne, a brilliant Belgian player, is a popular choice for the captaincy, receiving 34.9% of the vote in the survey. Having served as vice-captain and being one of the squad’s senior members, De Bruyne’s experience and skill make him an obvious candidate for the role.
Rodri finished third in the survey with 13.8% of the vote, followed by Kyle Walker with 3.1%. While there are other candidates, the clear favourites for the captaincy are Ruben Dias and Kevin De Bruyne.
Manchester City will need to carefully consider their decision as they search for a new leader to guide the team in the coming seasons.
Ilkay Gundogan’s departure from Manchester City has left a void not only in terms of his on-field contributions but also as the club’s captain. With Ruben Dias and Kevin De Bruyne emerging as strong contenders for the captaincy, City faces the task of selecting a leader who can fill Gundogan’s shoes.
The decision holds great importance for the team’s future success, and fans eagerly await the announcement of the new captain.