Interviews

Gundogan praises Fernandinho’s impact on and off the pitch

Ilkay Gundogan says Manchester City captain Fernandinho has a gift for knowing what needs to be said and when to say it as he hailed his contribution both on and off the pitch.

The Brazilian produced a vintage performance as he was restored to the starting line-up against Arsenal and earned praise from Pep Guardiola for the manner in which he demanded improvements from his team-mates earlier this season.

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Gundogan believes Fernandinho’s leadership is invaluable and says the 35-year-old can always be relied upon.

“He is leading us and is there when we need him,” he explained ahead of the first leg of our Champions League last 16 tie against Borussia Monchengladbach.

“His performance against Arsenal is incredible, he is always there for us and talks to us. And then of course the way he plays. He is a real leader. He's someone we need. We are happy to have him.

“He gives us the right things at the right time. He knows when to speak up, when to be quiet and what to do.”

Fernandinho is not alone in having a special knack for understanding when the team needs support.

Benjamin Mendy is another player who has impressed Gundogan for the way in which helps his colleagues and the in-form midfielder says City are blessed to have a dressing room free of egos.

Our No.8 believes that’s crucial if you’re to be successful as he acknowledged the efforts of those players who are not always involved in the first team squad.

“Other players come to mind like this,” added the 30-year-old.

Mendy struggled with injuries but he knows in what moment what to do to help the team. No egos at all. That’s the way to win and achieve great things.

“Right now everything is balanced well - even the players on the bench or not travelling help.

“Today we had some youngsters who didn't even touch the ball in training because we were doing build-up but they always do their best and that is important.”

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