The David Moyes era has begun at Manchester United but it seems to be another summer of missed opportunities in the transfer window. There are still plenty of options for United to consider and fans will be hoping one rumour in particular comes true.
So far this summer, United fans have seen two players their club has been heavily linked with, Thiago Alcantara and Kevin Strootman, move elsewhere as reported by the Mirror and the Daily Star. Those players would have enhanced Manchester United's midfield greatly and Strootman was seen as an especially good fit.
Such events have become a trend with United over the last few seasons, with countless other big-name targets seeking greener pastures elsewhere. Fans will be hoping this season is different.
Midfield is the major area of concern for the Red Devils heading into the season, and the majority of rumours have dealt with players in that area.
Luka Modric, Marouane Fellaini, Lars Bender, Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas, Claudio Marchisio and Gundogan have all been mentioned in the same sentence as United at various points this year. With reports coming from the Guardian, the Mirror and the Express. While Gundogan is probably the least attainable of this group, United fans will hope some miracle occurs regarding a move.
Whereas there are question marks over the other candidates—except possibly Bender, Matic and Marchisio—Gundogan looks to be a great fit for United.
Would United fans be happy if Gundogan is the only signing of the summer?
Though Modric, Fellaini and Fabregas all have their benefits, the trio, rightly or wrongly, do not whet the appetite like Gundogan or the others on this list. Many will doubt Modric's capabilities after an underwhelming season with Real Madrid, Fellaini is thought to be over-hyped due to his attacking role last season and Fabregas is not necessarily needed.
Despite the similarities they would all bring to United's midfield, Bender, Matic and Marchisio are still behind the German midfielder. Bender may stay in Germany—even if it isn't with Bayer Leverkusen—Matic will have plenty of suitors should he express interest in leaving and Marchisio is unlikely to leave Juventus.
They are equally tough targets to capture and Gundogan would be the best option for all he provides.
He can dictate from deep alongside Carrick, carry the ball forward to start attacks with his fantastic dribbling skills, chip in with goals and contribute defensively. No other player mentioned above can do all these things with equal excellence like Gundogan.
Still, Gundogan wins out. His pass accuracy percentage of 86.1 was the best of the lot, and that highlights the key attribute to his game that these players don't possess.
The ability to control a game.
While that is primarily Carrick's duty at United, Gundogan would be able to ease the pressure on the Englishman, and add solid contributions elsewhere. Four goals and three assists as well as 2.5 tackles and 2.2 interceptions per game attest to that.
Manchester United has plenty of options in the attacking and defensive third, but the quartet of Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher, Anderson and Tom Cleverley may not be enough to retain the title. That's where Gundogan comes in.
The Borussia Dortmund midfield man is still only 22, and he will only improve with players like Ryan Giggs and Michael Carrick to learn from.
Gundogan is the perfect blend of youth, experience and massive talent. He is on par with, or better than, the players mentioned above and would be a massive addition for the Red Devils as a result. The transfer may be almost impossible to pull off, but it's the one Manchester United fans want to come true.