It’s quite the achievement for a player to score his first goal, make his first assist and become only the sixth German footballer to score in a Champions League final.
All the more impressive then that it was against the most successful team in German history; Bayern Munich.
Gundogan's creativity, tackling and passing are the attributes desired for many of Europe’s elite sides and accounting that he’s only 22 means he could very much fulfil the tag line of ‘the new Xavi’.
The obvious question is; ‘where will he be playing next season?’ but what is perhaps more important is; ‘who would he suit more?’ or ‘who needs him more?’ Here are a few;
A team currently undergoing transition, despite seeming to do so with every transfer window, as Jose Mourinho decided to depart leaving big shoes for Carlo Ancelotti to fill. It seems Madrid will look to bring someone in quickly to wrap up potential signings of high calibre players (the names of Bale and Suarez already voiced).
Gundogan could quite easily become a Galactico and talks of a £20million-plus-Nuri Sahin deal are amidst the many rumours buzzing around, but if you already look at Real’s midfield, they have a lot of class and prestige in there to disallow him ample playing time.
Claiming third place and winning the Europa League can’t be seen as mediocre for many clubs but for Chelsea it was a season of settling for second best, so to speak. However, the new season shows more promise with beloved ‘Special One’, Jose Mourinho, heading back to the club that he brought much success to.
Speculation claims that he could raid former club Real Madrid for a few key players that could provide the same success they’ve looked for since his departure back in 2007 but Mourinho himself insists he may only make one or two additions to an already capable squad. Gundogan’s credentials would be maximised at Chelsea and he would be regarded as a first team player no doubt, and whilst Chelsea look for younger players to fill the role of the ever reliable Frank Lampard, Gundogan seems to have the skill set to become that replacement. The only thing he does lack is the ability to score frequently, unlike talismanic Frank.
For Manchester United, they’ve lost a pivotal figure in Sir Alex Ferguson and attempting to win over the United crowd in similar style to how Fergie did, is David Moyes. It’s certainly the biggest managerial seat to have to fill and Moyes will look to sign some key and influential players for his first campaign with the champions.
Gundogan can pass just as well, if not better than Carrick; create and assist similarly to ex-Dortmund teammate, Kagawa and dominate the middle of the park and tackle like Fletcher. All rounded center mid? Yes. Needed? Perhaps not. Rumours of Man United trying to sign Marouane Fellaini persist in the news, meaning they perhaps don't have the Dortmund dynamo on their radar.
They are another club with a lot of money and a new manager. Experienced Manuel Pellegrini has taken charge and after two Premier League games, he's had both ends of the spectrum, beating Newcastle 4-0 and then losing to newly promoted Cardiff City.
It would appear that a player of Gundogan's caliber would add solidity and steady the shop as it looks to win back the title from their city rivals. Perhaps, though, they wont be looking to bring any new faces into the team after already obtaining the services of winger Jesus Navas, defensive minded Fernandinho, Montenegrin starlet Stevan Jovetic and Spanish goal machine Alvaro Negredo. No room for starlet Gundogan.
No matter which club he moves to, he would obtain vital experience and for the club who has him they’ll be thankful for his acquisition. As for Dortmund, they may end up with him for another season but could also lose yet another key player, just like they have with fellow German wonder kid Mario Gotze. Only time will tell.
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