It seems to be getting to the point that each season, City have a key player out injured and misses way too many games. Last season it was Benjamin Mendy, but previously the honour has fallen to Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany, Stevan Jovetic (remember him? the only City player whose hamstrings were actually made of ham) and countless others that have plagued the blues over the years.
Now Kevin de Bruyne is looking to carry the mantle of most injured player of the season. Only just returning after damaging the ligaments in his right knee, he’s only gone and done the same in his left, limping off with three minutes remaining in City’s 2-0 League Cup win over Fulham. It was only de Bruyne’s second start of a season that has begun so miserably for the man who made such a huge contribution to City’s title success last season.
But despite the glee from opposing fans at the latest setback, de Bruyne’s injury will not affect the blues. City sit on top of the Premier League on goal difference, achieved without the Belgian assist king. Since his injury at Arsenal and his comeback match at home to Burnley, the blues played ten matches in all competitions, winning seven and drawing two, with just a solitary defeat at home to Lyon. And by the time he made his comeback as a 58th minute substitute against Burnley, the blues were already 3-0 up and cruising. Many thought City would struggle without him, but others have simply stepped up and taken over from him, with Bernardo Silva a perfect example.
Questions have been asked as to whether Guardiola should have played him against Fulham, but the midfielder needed game time to get his fitness levels up following his two months on the sidelines. It appears that the Belgian may not have been quite as ready as everyone thought he was, and maybe it would be worthwhile Pep keeping him out until after the busy Christmas period.
The blues have enough strength and depth in the squad to cope – they have already proved it with some of the results achieved in his absence. And a busy period in December, when the blues could play up to nine games in 30 days, it may be an opportunity for the likes of Phil Foden of Brahim Diaz to come into the side and make an impression. It would allow the Belgian much needed recovery time to return to his best in the New Year when we will need him most.
What do you think? Will the blues miss de Bruyne, or will they simply continue as they have done since August?