‘We have a way of playing and we try to stick to it’: Ilkay Gundogan backs Manchester City to shine without David Silva after the Spaniard’s summer exit
Manchester City become the last team to kick off their Premier League season on Monday night with midfielder Ilkay Gundogan insisting they won’t change style despite the departure of David Silva and the disappointment of finishing 18 points behind champions Liverpool last term.
City were given extra time to prepare for the new campaign because of their participation in the Champions League mini tournament and for the first time since 2010 won’t have Silva in the dressing-room with the Spanish legend having signed for Real Sociedad.
Gundogan has played most of his 164 games for City alongside Silva, who was dubbed Merlin by team-mates because of his wizardry on the ball.
Manchester City will go without David Silva who left the club in the summer after 10 years
Ilkay Gundogan says the club will move forward and continue to flourish without Silva
It will now be up to the German international and Phil Foden to keep the passing carousel going and Gundogan doesn’t think City need to alter the approach that previously saw them win the league with 100 points and claim the domestic Treble.
‘David is a special player and legend at this football club, he had such a positive impact on English football, but we have a way of playing and we try to stick to it,’ said Gundogan.
‘David was an important player for us but he didn’t play every game last season. We are prepared to keep moving the club forward now he is gone.
‘I don’t think that means changing the way we play, but making the most of every opportunity. We have to make a better season than last year but the differences will be small ones.
Manchester City will look to narrow an 18-point gap this season to champions Liverpool
‘When I was younger, the senior players would look after us and give advice. That is part of my role now but also for Kevin [De Bruyne], Kun [Sergio Aguero], Raheem [Sterling] and others.’
Manager Pep Guardiola hasn’t prioritised midfield as an area to strengthen, with Foden getting the chance to shine despite having been sent home by England for breaching Covid protocols.
Instead, City have signed Dutch international defender Nathan Ake for £40million with young Spanish winger Ferran Torres brought in from Valencia to replace Leroy Sane.