Manchester City had a near-perfect experience last term failing only to win the Champions League after unprecedented domestic success. But for Kevin De Bruyne, on a personal level, it was close to a nightmare season. No player plans to get injured at the beginning of the campaign only to come back and continuously suffer a recurrence of other injuries.
After coming close to winning the PFA Player of the Year before narrowly missing out to Mohamed Salah in 2018. He was then voted Manchester City’s Player of the Year, and rightly so. As the club’s best player by far and he single-handedly dragged the team through some difficult periods helping secure wins like his strike in a 1-0 win against then reigning champions Chelsea.
A lot was therefore, expected of the Belgian heading into last season. Injuries put paid to the expectation. But there was a silver lining in the situation; Bernardo Silva blossomed.
One can only wonder what impact a fully fit Kevin De Bruyne and Fernandinho could have had for City home and away against Tottenham in the Champions League quarter-finals. But that’s all history now. It’s time to look ahead to the upcoming campaign.
Having recovered from the niggling injuries, the 28-year-old is now rearing to go.
With the signing of Rodri, the Sky Blues have become even stronger in the midfield. A Rodri-De Bruyne-Bernardo midfield combination will rival the best anywhere on the continent. But the Belgian is expected to be the undisputed leader in the middle of the park. The former Wolfsburg star man would be forgiven if he feels like he has some catching up to do having witnessed Mo Salah and Liverpool go on to lift the Champions League trophy in the close season as City came up short.
City’s progress in the competition will be the main target for the team now having won it all on the domestic front. Therefore, staying fit will be important to the midfielder as with his manager.
For a player who played all but one of the Premier League games for the Sky Blues in 2017/2018 scoring eight times with a further 16 assists for his teammates, more is expected. His best output in a single season was with Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga where he scored 10 goals and set up a whopping 20 more in the ‘14/15 campaign. That performance took the football world by storm and led directly to his move to the Etihad Stadium.
After readjusting to life in a new team under former boss Manuel Pellegrini, he took things a step further under Guardiola helping to secure the double two seasons ago. Unfortunately, he was pegged back by injuries last term. Having fully recovered now and at 28, he is at the prime of his career. Fully fit, he will be for us what Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are for Barcelona and Juventus respectively. Together with Bernardo the team can reach new heights next season.
For a player capable of winning the Ballon d’Or, performing at full throttle can lift both the team and himself to continental dominance.