Real Madrid: Can Ilkay Gundogan Replace Xabi Alonso for Los Blancos?

Tre' AtkinsonFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2013

Real Madrid will have a very important decision on their hands this summer. Arguably the most important player in the Madrid squad, Xabi Alonso, has yet to sign a contract extension, and the powers that be have begun to search for his replacement, according to the Daily Mail.

Alonso plays a vital role in the Merengue style. The Spaniard possesses the incredible ability to read the game, hold possession and play long passes in attack.

According to Marca, Ilkay Gundogan has arisen as the ideal replacement, but the real question is if the German is ready for such a role.

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder plays an identical game to Alonso. In fact, Gundogan can even be considered a German version of the current Madrid midfielder.

Gundogan was brought to Borussia Dortmund last summer to replace Nuri Sahin and has since become one of the most important players for the German outfit.

At just 22 years old, Gundogan possesses the football brains far beyond that of most players his age. His ability to read the game and physical play have made Gundogan the engine of Jurgen Klopp’s squad.

But fans must remember that Gundogan is just now entering the most important time of his development.

The German midfielder’s former manager, Michael Oenning, has weighed in on the issue. In an interview with Bild via, Oenning had these words to say.

“In my eyes, a switch to Barcelona [or Real Madrid] would come too early for him. He is barely 22. He can think about such a move again when he is 25 or 26.”

Whether or not the German is ready for the move is yet to be determined. But if Real Madrid does bring the 22-year-old to the Bernabeu, it would certainly be a gamble.

Borussia Dortmund is making a great showing in the Champions League and is among the best clubs in Europe. However, though Gundogan may be thriving for Die Borussen, a move to Madrid would definitely be a huge step.

The German actually played against Real Madrid in the Champions League this season. But playing with the Spanish giants would be the biggest step of his career.

Current teammate Nuri Sahin made the same jump to Madrid last season, and it ended dreadfully. In fact, Madrid does have something of a reputation for stunting the growth of new players.

Gundogan has the talent to be the ideal replacement for Alonso if he does leave Los Blancos. But until he puts on the white shirt, there is no way to determine if Gundogan is in fact the answer for Real Madrid.


Will Xabi Alonso still be in Madrid next season? Can Ilkay Gundogan replace the Spaniard? If not, who should be brought in? Don’t forget to leave your thoughts and comments below.


Tre’ Atkinson. Follow me on Twitter for more discussions on Real Madrid and La Liga.