- De Bruyne could be out for four months
- Midfielder forced off in first half against Burnley
- Belgian’s absence could give Foden a route back into the team
Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne could be out of action until January after picking up a hamstring injury in City’s victory at Burnley in their opening Premier League fixture.
De Bruyne, 32, lasted only 28 minutes at Turf Moor. The injury is a recurrence of the problem which caused him to be replaced in the first half of the Champions League final against Inter Milan.
Last season the Belgian international contributed 10 goals and 31 assists across all competitions as the Citizens won the treble.
De Bruyne may face surgery
City boss Pep Guardiola has described De Bruyne’s injury as “serious” and is suggesting that the influential midfielder will be out for a period of months. Dr Ramón Cugat is advising the club regarding De Bruyne, and a decision is expected to be taken on whether surgery is needed in the next few days.
City have strength in depth
While losing a player of De Bruyne’s calibre would be a major blow to any team, City’s strength in depth mean that they will still be serious contenders on a number of fronts this season. Phil Foden and Matteo Kovacic are both able to deputise for De Bruyne, though it is acknowledged within the club that his experience and skill set will be a big miss. As well as being absent for the first half of the league campaign, DeBruyne will miss the Champions League group stage.
What De Bruyne brings to City
De Bruyne provides a high number of direct goal involvements each season and many consider his allround play and influence to be extremely important to the team.
|Kevin De Bruyne: Premier League goals and assists|
Has De Bruyne’s injury affected the title odds?
City remain heavy favourites to retain their Premier League title. At the time of writing bet365 are offering odds of 8/11 on City finishing top of the pile in May. This is compared to last season’s runners up Arsenal (9/2), Liverpool (8/1), Manchester United (10/1), Chelsea 14/1 and Newcastle United (16/1). Obviously should City’s form without De Bruyne dip, their odds will lengthen.
What’s next for City?
City take on Sevilla in Athens in the European Super Cup before hosting last season’s fourth place finishers Newcastle United on Saturday evening.