Ilkay Gundogan to Arsenal Makes Perfect Sense, and Here’s Why


Ilkay Gundogan (like roughly 60% of the Borussia Dortmund squad) wants to get out of town. Being from such a (formerly?) prolific club, he’s obviously going to look for a new home that’s similarly prolific. Naturally, he’d also want a squad with a style of play that doesn’t force too many changes and he’ll want plenty of playing time.

Well, Mr. Gundogan, then Arsenal is the club for you.

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Not long ago, I wrote an article that had three “hang-ups” for why this deal was still questionable (see here). Since then, I’ve come to the conclusion that the three points that seem to be speed bumps are actually propellants to get this deal done.

Firstly, that he’s costly (15.6 million pounds is the rumored bid from the Express). I don’t believe Arsenal’s 20 million pound transfer budget. I’m not sure I ever did. Arsene Wenger has said if he finds the right player at the right cost, he’ll pay.

Well, at 24 years of age and with Gundogan being a world-class midfielder, 15.6 million is an enormous bargain and surprisingly, not too many other clubs are too heavily pursuing the German.

Secondly, that he’s injury prone. We know Gundogan has had back problems but aside from the one long injury stint (over a year), he really hasn’t been out much. Wenger will be able to keep him nice and rested with our midfield options so we’ll only ever get the best out of Gundogan.

Thirdly, that he’s not technically a “defensive” midfielder.

Arsene Wenger has never wanted a strictly defensive midfielder. It’s not Arsenal’s “style.” He has always preferred undersized, driving, box-to-box midfielders and Gundogan is another such example of the type.

I don’t buy into rumors often, especially for high-profile names like Ilkay Gundogan, but at a 15.6 million pound price tag, this high-profile name is being bought at a discounted price, and we know how much Wenger likes discounts.

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