Ilkay Gundogan knows how to endear himself to Manchester City fans.
The Germany international may have been sidelined for a long time following his move from Borussia Dortmund this summer, but he’s quickly picking up on the dynamics of the Manchester rivalry.
The box-to-box midfielder has hit out at rivals United over their handling of international team-mate Bastian Schweinsteiger, insisting the Red Devils have been “disrespectful” in their treatment of the World Cup winner.
Gundogan may have a point here; Schweinsteiger may no longer be at the top of his game. He may be painfully slow, but he’s still given a great deal to the game over the past 15 years or so.
United boss Jose Mourinho has completely sidelined him, forcing him to train with the reserves. The most recent humiliation came when the club wrote the midfielder off as an asset altogether.
“I believe that Manchester United could 100 percent benefit from a fit Bastian Schweinsteiger,” Gundogan told Bild.
“If everything you hear and read is true, you can consider it disrespectful. He’s not just some player, and also not only 18 or 19.”
Schweinsteiger has not played for United since March, but what is most bizarre in all this is that he turned down the chance to leave in the summer.
United will receive the brunt of the criticism for the situation, but the player isn’t helping himself, regardless of what Gundogan says.