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İlkay Gündoğanja hasn't needed much time to start making his mark at FC Barcelona. He's played a huge part in two big wins, supplying assists both at the Estadi Olímpic Lluis Companys and again this Sunday past at El Sadar.
That's the same number of assists in four games as he created in his last 20 Premier League outings with Manchester City. And his contributions have not gone unnoticed by Xavi Hernández, who said after the win over Cádiz that “the game needed that final pass. That's why we signed Gündoğan."
There were less than 10 minutes to go in the first home fixture of the league season, and Barça were in trouble. They needed to break the deadlock and finally did so when Gündoğan threaded the ball to Pedri for the latter to score. The finish was exquisite, but everyone was talking about the pass that came before. A moment of sheer class and Barça were in the lead at last.
In Pamplona, Barça were again about to go in at half-time with no goals on the board. That was until Gündoğan stepped up to take a corner and delivered the most beautiful of kicks straight onto the head of Jules Kounde. Barça also went on to win that game.
But much as stats are something tangible with which to assess performances, Gündoğan has clearly become a very key component of the blaugrana game-plan. He has immediately settled into the Barça art of the long possession game, something he knows all about after playing under Pep Guardiola, and whenever he treads the edge of the opposing area, Barça fans are already used to expecting something brilliant to happen. And Gündoğan rarely disappoints in that department.