Welcome to World Class

Ilkay Gundogan wins W2WC poll & joins top 5 centre-midfielders in the world

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Ilkay Gundogan is world class
Ilkay Gundogan is world class / 90min
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Ilkay Gundogan has won 90min's latest Welcome to World Class fan vote, sealing his status as the fifth-best centre-midfielder on the planet.

The Manchester City and Germany man has enjoyed a terrific 2021, helping his club lift another Premier League title with a string of starring performances.

These displays were enough to see off Manchester United's Paul Pogba, Inter's Nicolo Barella and Paris Saint-Germain's Georginio Wijnaldum in Wednesday's W2WC poll.

We asked our followers which of the midfield foursome they would most like to see line up in their team and Gundogan won at a canter, securing 38.2% of the vote. His closes challengers were Pogba and Euro 2020 winner Barella, who garnered 24.8% and 26.0% respectively.

Meanwhile, Wijnaldum - who left Liverpool for PSG at the end of the 2020/21 season - was a distant fourth, managing just 11% of the vote.

Gundogan has been considered a top player for some time, but his reputation grew to new heights over the past 12 months largely due to an incredible spike in his goalscoring numbers. Not one to make the net bulge prior to 2021, he managed a stunning 16 strikes between January 1 and November 30 for club and country.

Creatively, his numbers also stood out. The Man City man managed seven assists during the same period and created 73 chances - slightly more than Real Madrid's Toni Kroos, though Gundogan did play 14 more games.

When you consider these stats it is little surprise that Gundogan was awarded back-to-back Premier League player of the month awards to start the year. Further individual and team honours would follow too.

First, Gundogan lifted the Carabao Cup, helping Man City stroll to victory over Tottenham in the final. A few months later he got his hands on a third Premier League trophy, and he was rewarded at the end of the campaign with a spot in the PFA Team of the Year for the first time ever.

Ilkay Gundogan, welcome to world class.


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