Manchester City face further injury worries as Kevin de Bruyne has been ruled out for ‘a while’ after suffering a hamstring injury during the defeat at Bournemouth. The Belgian was unchallenged as he fell to the floor after playing a ball forward and was replaced by Riyad Mahrez in the first half. Defender John Stones also went off injured as City’s injury list grows.
“Kevin will be out for a while with a muscular problem, hamstring,” said Guardiola. “John I think is more precaution. We didn’t take a risk.” The blues have played eight games in February, but have reached the Premier League summit, won the League Cup, advanced to the quarter final of the FA Cup and taken a 3-2 scoreline back to the Etihad Stadium in the Champions League in that time. The latest injury is de Bruyne’s third this season, however the blues have done well without their midfield assist king.
Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola’s search for a left back may well be put on hold following the continuing emergence of Oleksandr Zinchenko. The youngster has waited patiently for his chance and has taken it with both hands, showing the manager that he is quite possibly an excellent replacement for the brilliant, yet continually injured Benjamin Mendy. Guardiola has stated that a holding midfield position is still a position that he needs to fill, considering the recent injury to the ageing Fernandinho.
Defender Eliaquim Mangala (remember him) has signed a new one year contract, which is one of the most surprising pieces of news this year, while City are still in negotiations to secure the long term services of Ilkay Gundogan. “If he was 100 per cent then the deal would have been done, so we are still in negotiations,” said the City boss. “He is an incredibly important player. He knows what we want, he knows what we think about him, but the last decision is not in our hands. We try to speak with him, we want him to extend the contract right now. But if he doesn’t want to, we cannot do anything else.”
Will City miss de Bruyne? Is Zinchenko the answer to City’s left back problems? Let us know your thoughts.