Football

Jamie Carragher: Ilkay Guendogan will win Player of the Year award

Ex-Liverpool defender backs free-scoring German to lead Man City to EPL title

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Guendogan "is going to be PFA Player of the Year" after his brace in the 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The 30-year-old German has largely been out of the spotlight since arriving in Manchester in 2016 but has exploded into life with 13 goals and three assists this season, 11 of them coming in the English Premier League.

Guendogan could have had a hat-trick but he gave up penalty duties after a miss against Liverpool, with Rodri scoring from the spot against Spurs.

The 30-year-old's previous best scoring seasons were in 2017/18 and 2018/19 when he bagged six goals.

Former England international Carragher believes Guendogan will lead Pep Guardiola's men to the EPL title.

He said on Sky Sports: "What a season he is having. I think he is going to be PFA Player of the Year. He has been a revelation, a joy to watch."

Guardiola, meanwhile, pointed out that he had previously said that the German could play up front.

He said: "I said many times he could play as a striker, like a false No. 9, and people laughed.

"I understood why because he didn't do it here. But he has the sense to arrive at the goal.

"He has the tempo to arrive there. He is so good in these moments...

"When Fernandinho was out two seasons ago, he was a holding midfielder, where it was difficult to score goals.

"Now he plays close to the striker and he has an incredible sense to do movements to the box. Then there is the finishing...

"He won the award for Player of the Month. If he keeps playing this way in February, he is going to win it again."

However, after his brace, Guendogan hobbled off with a groin injury that will concern City just 11 days before their return to Champions League action against Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Said Guardiola: "He (Guendogan) told me it was tight. He is intelligent to say it but we will see tomorrow."

League leaders Manchester City are now 17 points clear of ninth-placed Spurs, who led the league last December.

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