Guardiola second to none tactially, says Man City midfielder Gundogan

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan feels he is a kindred spirit with Pep Guardiola, seeing the game the same way as his manager.

Pep Guardiola and Ilkay Gundogan   -  Getty Images

Ilkay Gundogan is loving life under Pep Guardiola and feels he is on the same footballing wavelength as the Manchester City manager.

Germany midfielder Gundogan was the first signing sanctioned by Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium, agreeing a four-year deal to seal a £20million move from Borussia Dortmund in June 2016, a month before the Catalan tactician took up the reins in Manchester.

The 27-year-old was still rehabilitating from a dislocated kneecap at that stage and a cruciate knee ligament injury in December 2016 curtailed his debut Premier League campaign.

Despite the excellent form of first-choice midfield trio Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Fernandinho this time around, Gundogan has enjoyed plenty of playing time and is firmly in the running for a place in Germany's World Cup squad as Champions League quarter-finalists City close in on adding the Premier League title to their EFL Cup success.

"Sporting things are going very well, but for the team and for me personally," he told RTL. "I could not be much happier.

"Pep Guardiola tactically brings a gift that is second to none in the world. When we go to the pitch and see what [Guardiola's tactics] trigger, then a light goes on.

"The way we see football is quite similar. He played in a similar position to where I'm playing now and he's also a big fan of midfielders."

City travel to Everton on their return from the international break before a crunch week in their season, with the away and home legs of the Champions League showdown against Liverpool sandwiching the Manchester derby at home to United on April 7 – a game where Guardiola's men could be confirmed as Premier League winners.

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