Coming back soon?
The cornerstone of Manchester City could soon be back in the fold.
Kevin De Bruyne hasn’t played since sustaining a hamstring injury in the teams 2-0 win versus Aston Villa.
Manager Pep Guardiola spoke to Sky Sports on Friday about the Belgians recovery.
“The doctors told me maybe next week, maybe if he [De Bruyne] can start training with the team, that is good news for us.
“He has a good recovery with injury problems, [although] it can go bad at the same time.
“I said to the doctors, himself as well, we cannot forget what happened in the second league, the Premier League that we won.
“Most of the season, he was injured because of muscular [injury] and came back, and then muscular again, come back and muscular again, and I don’t want to take a risk.
“I want to be sure; we want to be sure, he wants to be sure that when he comes back, it is because he is completely recovered and fit.”
What that all means?
It seems silly to not insert De Bruyne into the lineup if he’s healthy. His return however will raise plenty of questions about the squad’s current makeup.
Since the ace midfielder’s injury City has won seven straight games in all competitions. They currently have a seven-point cushion atop the Premier League standings.
Is it possible a player of De Bruyne’s calibre can mess up the pace City have set this year?
The bigger question is, what does his return mean for Ilkay Gundogan?
Guardiola spoke about how he plans to deal with that situation.
“I will have the happy position. Hopefully, he [De Bruyne] comes back soon. It will not be a problem; I promise you!”
In De Bruyne’s absence, Gundogan has taken over his role in the midfield, and the team hasn’t missed a beat.
The Premier League Player of the Month for January is on a roll. In his last five EPL fixtures, Gundogan has six goals and two assists. He leads the team with 11 goals in league play and has the most Premier League goals this year with nine.
Despite missing the past five games, De Bruyne is still second in Premier League assists this season with ten just one back of Tottenham’s Harry Kane.
De Bruyne’s made 17 appearances in the Premier League this season scoring three times. (JSL).