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Sunday 4 December 2016

Gundogan says City's facilities show they are among the world's biggest clubs

Published 07/11/2016 | 09:21

Ilkay Gundogan has made a strong start to his Manchester City career
Ilkay Gundogan has made a strong start to his Manchester City career

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan says you just need to look at the facilities at the Premier League outfit to realise they are among the biggest clubs in the world.

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Gundogan has hit form since returning from injury and he told Germany's Kicker magazine how his move to City in the summer was easy, once he saw where he would be working.

"When I drive into our training centre here and see all of this, then it's extremely impressive," he said.

"Not even Bayern can compare to this, this is in a different league.

"You realise that you have arrived at one of the biggest clubs in the world who have big ambition and would like to develop something big over the coming years.

"The pressure and responsibility for the individual players is accordingly big and it's certainly different to in Dortmund."

Gundogan admits the pressures of life at City are much higher than they were at Dortmund, since he is at a club who expect to be challenging for trophies every season rather than one expecting to finish behind Bayern.

Furthermore, the arrival of Pep Guardiola in the summer has only strengthened that desire to clinch silverware next summer.

"They make it quite clear that they crave the very best here," Gundogan said. "The expectation levels are extremely high due to the transfers and above all due to Pep.

"He is simply success personified."

He is also bringing the best out of Gundogan, who has scored five goals in 10 games, although he says it is his more advanced position which is contributing to him scoring more regularly.

"I know that I have Fernandinho, a defensive midfielder, behind me and that he is always covering my back," said the 26-year-old. "That is why I am playing more attacking and getting close to the penalty area more frequently.

"At Dortmund, I was more the defensive cover."

Gundogan scored only six goals in 73 appearances for Dortmund from a more defensive role and admits he may now be given the chance to play further up the field for Germany, alongside the likes of Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller.

"It's possible," he said. "That would make us extremely variable."

Gundogan reports for international duty on Tuesday with Germany facing San Marino in a World Cup qualifier on Friday night before travelling to Italy for an international friendly four days later.

Gundogan has also sung the praises of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp - although he hopes to prevent his former Dortmund boss being as successful in England as he was in Germany.

Speaking at the presentation of a new Germany kit in Dusseldorf on Monday, Gundogan said in quotes reported by sport1.de: "He's doing an extremely good job. We all know what an excellent manager he is and how successful he can be.

"He's fantastic and a great personality."

Gundogan's City trail the Reds by two points after 11 games of the season, but the 2012 Bundesliga winner still hopes to come out on top in May.

"Jurgen's doing an extremely good job and he also has the advantage of not being in Europe, meaning he gets a few extra days preparation time," Gundogan said.

"But I hope we manage to ensure Jurgen is not so successful."

Press Association

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