Manchester City’s Gundogan replacement was hiding in plain sight the whole time

Manchester City’s Gundogan replacement has been hiding in plain sight all season. The departure of Ilkay Gundogan to Barcelona last summer left a sizable void in Pep Guardiola’s squad. Across this season, it has become apparent that Phil Foden has stepped up to fill the void left by Gundogan’s summer exit.

Across this season, Phil Foden has scored 24 goals and added 10 assists. His overall impact for Manchester City has risen this season as his game has matured. He has also benefited from being given more responsibility by Pep Guardiola. Foden’s apprenticeship at the world champions has seen him take on a plethora of roles for his team. But this season, he has gradually shifted into a midfield role, which suits his game. Foden was always destined for a role in midfield, and this season has season has seen him finally grow into the role.

Besides the role Ilkay Gundogan played for the treble winners across his City career, his ability to score important goals was something that also needed to be replaced. This has been where Phil Foden has grown to become City’s Gundogan replacement. At times this season, when Manchester City has needed a match winner, it has been Foden that has stepped up. He scored twice in City’s crucial 4-nil win over Brighton on Thursday, which emphasised this fact. His hat tricks against Brentford and Aston Villa earlier this season were also crucial in City victories.

READ MORE: Manchester City’s dream midfield pairing is as good as it promised to be.

It was often thought that Manchester City would have to go to the transfer market to replace Ilkay Gundogan. That hasn’t proven to be the case as City’s Gundogan replacement was hiding in plain sight. If Foden can continue to chime in with important goals on the run home this season he will have shown he has taken the mantle left by a club legend and may leave his own sizable imprint on Manchester City.

Tags Aston Villa Barcelona Brentford Brighton Ilkay Gundogan Manchester City Pep Guardiola Phil Foden