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  • Writer's pictureBen Nixon

De Bruyne injury could cost City the title

Manchester City superstar and treble winner Kevin De Bruyne has been sent to Antwerp to undergo surgery for his ongoing hamstring problem. De Bruyne came off in Manchester City’s opening game at Turf Moor after just 24 minutes, in their 3-0 victory last Friday.

Manager Pep Guardiola recognises the massive impact Kevin’s absence will have on the team mentioning his ‘specific qualities’ which over a long period of time will affect Manchester City’s season.

De Bruyne had been playing with his hamstring injury for the final two months of last years treble winning season and was substituted in the champions league final after only 36 minutes of play and the game at Turf Moor appeared the final last straw for De Bruyne, who is now expected to be out for next 3-4 months.

How will Manchester City deal with this blow? City will now have to look at players such as Phil Foden and Cole Palmer to bring the creativity back into the midfield. Cole Palmer has already been given opportunities to impress by Pep Guardiola in the Community Shield against Arsenal, in which he scored the opener and again recently against Sevilla in the Super Cup, where he scored for City's crucial equaliser.

Kevin De Bruyne’s injury may be the opportunity players like Phil Foden and Cole Palmer were hoping for as they currently struggle for game time, especially after last years record breaking season.

Phil Foden has been out of favour in Pep’s City side in recent times and when he plays, he is preferred on the wings. Foden now has the chance to establish a first team position if he can provide the quality lost with Kevin De Bruyne out.

Rumours speculate that Manchester City are in the market to cover his position, with West Ham United’s Lucas Paqueta apparently the ideal player for the role, as City gear up for a heavy line of fixtures in October, with Arsenal and Manchester United. Kevin’s absence will definitely be a massive loss for Guardiola’s men.

De Bruyne brings an unparalleled quantity of creativity to midfield, providing a whopping 16 assists and 7 goals in the Premier League last season. He had the most assists last year and helped talisman Erling Haaland in scoring his 36 debut Premier League goals. Without De Bruyne gone, Erling Haaland could struggle going forward this season, especially after last season's impressive goal scoring record.

Despite his assists, De Bruyne has the quality to score important goals. He scored an empathic equaliser from range at the Bernabeu in the Champions League semifinal's against Real Madrid. In the game City struggled to play at their normal quality, with De Bruyne scoring a wonder-goal from nothing, to equalise going into the home leg at the Etihad.

With De Bruyne's injury, its no doubt Manchester City will struggle in the big games, potentially allowing teams like Arsenal and Chelsea to close the gap on the Premier League title this season.

Pep Guardiola and his team will not be completely discouraged with the injury news. Manchester City ooze quality all over the pitch and if there is a team that can perform without their star man, Manchester City are that team. Not to mention City have been in this position before. They won the Premier League title without Kevin De Bruyne for parts of the season, due to his Ankle injury and Covid 19 issues.

The Cityzens have the squad depth to maintain the quality lost, boasting one of the most expensive teams in Europe, and one of the most decorated set of substitutes in Europe.

Players like Bernardo Silva have been used in the attacking midfielder role and has given Manchester City much success in that role.

Regardless, a player of Kevin’s quality is ‘irreplaceable’ as Guardiola has said. The Sky Blue supporters also think so, claiming they are not as dominant when Kevin is absent...

What do you think? Will players like Palmer and Foden fulfill his role? Will this blow to the reigning champions leave space for teams like Arsenal to close the gap? Will the injury to Kevin De Bruyne impact their season?


Written by Ben Nixon

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