Opinion – Manchester City have enough depth to cover for Kevin de Bruyne
According to reports in BBC, Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has suffered a knee injury in training, with the extent of it “not yet known.” It is the Belgian’s right knee which has taken a bad knock.
The 27-year-old had injured his right knee two years back during an EFL Cup tie against Everton. He then missed 12 games due to that, for a length of about two months. City are fearing that this might be the case this time around as well (h/t BBC).
One may imagine this as a huge blow for the Premier League defending champions, with one of their most vital players getting injured at the start of the season. However, with the way Pep Guardiola has made his team play in pre-season and in the first two games, it seems like City might just be fine without De Bruyne.
Bernardo Silva, who joined the club for a fee of £43million last summer, has started in the No. 8 role against the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal. The Portuguese even looked at ease by using the ball judiciously and exhibiting the work-rate expected from a typical Guardiola player.
Young Englishman Phil Foden, who began the Community Shield game alongside Silva and Fernandinho in the midfield, looked quite promising as well. Guardiola was impressed with his performance and stated this when he was asked whether Foden could be considered for a first-team place (Manchester Evening News):
“Yeah, he was last season. He is a year more mature, he trained all season with us.
“He fought with all our players so that is why it is so good to have another player with his talent.”
The Cityzens also have veteran midfielder David Silva, meaning they have enough options to cover the big hole created by De Bruyne’s loss. It only means that the likes of Ilkay Gundogan, David Silva and Bernardo Silva have to up their game in the weeks to come.
Kevin De Bruyne is a high-class player and there is no doubt about that. However, with the talent City have at their disposal, it is hard to argue that they will be bogged down by this. In fact, there should be greater eagerness to continue doing the right things on the field. Hence, they must remain unfazed by De Bruyne’s absence and focus on the positives instead.