Inventive, intelligent, box-to-box midfielder
Ilkay Gundogan moved to City having earned a reputation as an energetic, intelligent midfielder during the early stages of his career in his native Germany.
He spent time on the books of several clubs as a youth, including Borussia Dortmund’s arch-rivals Schalke 04, until his senior career began in earnest with a move to FC Nurnberg in 2009.
His debut did not arrive until March 2010, but following a handful of appearances that season, he impressed in the side that finished sixth in the 2010-11 edition of the Bundesliga.
That prompted Dortmund to make their move and his summer 2011 transfer paid off in fine style for both the Club and player.
Gundogan’s form warranted a first senior cap for Germany against Belgium in October 2011, and he played a major role in Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund side as it went on to claim its second successive Bundesliga title.
2012-13 saw Dortmund vie with Bayern Munich for both the German title and the Champions League, and while they were edged out by Bayern both domestically and in Europe, Gundogan’s stock continued to rise with some eye-catching performances.
City fans also had their first chance to see their future player in action at close quarters in two group stage matches in the Champions League. Dortmund went all the way to the final at Wembley, with Gundogan sending Manuel Neuer the wrong way to equalise from the penalty spot.
A niggling back injury forced Gundogan to miss virtually all of the 2013-14 season, and the subsequent World Cup, but he made a full recovery and continued to impress as Dortmund challenged for honours at home and abroad.
Ilkay made his City debut against Borussia Monchengladbach in September 2016 and scored his first goal against Bournemouth four days later.
He sustained a serious knee injury against Watford in December 2016, ruling him out for several months, but following his recovery, proved a pivotal figure during City's 2018 Premier League title win.
Ilkay won two Carabao Cups in 2018 and 2019, as well as adding another Premier League and FA Cup winner's medal to his collection.
He also played for Germany during their 2018 World Cup campaign in Russia.
The 2020/21 campaign will be Ilkay's fifth with City.