Pep Guardiola leads the praise for Ilkay Gundogan

‘He can do EVERYTHING’: Pep Guardiola leads the praise for Ilkay Gundogan after his Everton masterclass as he urges the out-of-contract midfielder to stay at the club despite Barcelona interest

  • Gundogan scored twice for City as they comfortably beat Everton 3-0
  • He could leave the club in the summer and he’s yet to sign a new deal at the club
  • Guardiola said the midfielder shows his quality and importance ‘again and again’ 

Pep Guardiola is desperate for Ilkay Gundogan to remain Manchester City’s heartbeat after his captain fantastic put his team on the brink of the title.

City will win their fifth title in six years if they beat Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium next Sunday following a dramatic afternoon in which Guardiola’s side thumped Everton 3-0 then Arsenal combusted and lost 3-0 to Brighton.

Gundogan, who is out of contract at the end of the season, was the driving force behind the triumph at Goodison Park, scoring two and providing the assist for Erling Haaland to plunder his 52nd goal of the campaign.

Barcelona want to sign Gundogan but if Guardiola has anything to do with it, he will remain in Manchester. The 32-year-old has been in exceptional, prompting his manager to lavish him praise.

Guardiola said: ‘Ilkay shows again, again and again his quality and his importance. His commitment to all of us at the club. It’s not just scoring goals, he has his momentum because against Leeds, he was the player and again here. He can do everything.

Pep Guardiola is desperate for out-of-contract Ilkay Gundogan to remain at Manchester City

Gundogan could leave the club at the end of the season and is wanted by Barcelona

Gundogan put in another impressive showing, scoring twice as they beat Everton 3-0

‘Nobody knows what is going to happen, maybe he stays. Hopefully.’ Asked whether he has expressed his wish to City’s hierarchy, Guardiola said: ‘He doesn’t talk much (as a captain) but when he talks, everyone listens. This is the power of a leader. He shows leadership every training session. Arriving on time, living the job 24 hours a day. He plays like he’s playing now.

‘He is a guy who plays close to the box and has an incredible sense of the goal. But he can playing holding midfield defensively no problem. He proved that years ago when he Fernandinho was injured. He is a guy who handles the pressure really, really well.’  

At the final whistle, Guardiola strode across to City’s exultant supporters in manner that was reminiscent of Antonio Conte at this stadium in 2017 when Chelsea had ground out a triumph on their way to the title. He tried to play down the moment but his actions betrayed his words, as he was shouting “two more wins!”

Guardiola said: ‘I was really impressed the way Everton handled the game against Brighton (last Monday, winning 5-1). We handled the game they are so good at transitions. Every free-kick and corner, they are the best in the Premier League since Sean Dyche went in.

‘It is almost a goal every time. Arsenal lose here for one corner so it happens. We had the patience and momentum and we scored the goals in the right moment. It’s so important and nice to celebrate with our fans. We need two more games. Hopefully (it will be the) next one against Chelsea.’

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