Former Manchester City defender, Nedum Onuoha, has highlighted the growing influence of Ilkay Gundogan.
German midfielder Gundogan has been in superb form this season and shone again in last Sunday’s 3-1 win at Chelsea with former City and Queen’s Park Rangers central defender Onuoha praising his pivotal position in Pep Guardiola’s set-up.
“I think instead of saying solely being a number six he (Gundogan) leans towards being an eight. He’s a very important link between defence and attack. There’s so much trust in the system you know the ball will come to you,” Onuoha told City’s website.
“When the defender plays it to Rodri who plays it to Gundogan, you don’t have to come and receive the ball because you know it’s going to get there.
“In my early days we used to have the ball at the back, and you’d see a lot of numbers because people didn’t want the ball.
“You went long and went for the second balls, but I’ll never forget this.
“We were playing a pre-season game, David Silva’s on our team, he had someone on his back like a foot away. I played the ball away and he had a go at me saying: ‘Why didn’t you give me the ball’?
“I was like: ‘Because there’s someone behind you.’ I was like: ‘Oh my god, this is different!’.”