In news that was sure to upset fans of Manchester City, Kevin De Bruyne has announced he is set to miss ten weeks of action.
The 24-year-old came off the bench and impressed as the Citizens beat Everton 3-1 to make the Capital One Cup final, but that’s not what people will be talking about in relation to the City man.
The attacking midfielder went down in pain in injury time and after seeing a specialist, the Belgium international was able to reveal how lengthy his layoff will be.
Having a player possessing the quality of De Bruyne out on the sidelines for an extended spell would hurt any team, but it may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Man City.
The Citizens were already four games into the Premier League season before the 24-year-old made his debut and they impressed in that quartet of matches.
Indeed, Manuel Pellegrini’s men won every game in August, scoring ten and conceding none.
The trio of Jesus Navas, David Silva and Raheem Sterling were a huge part of this run, with the attacking midfielders contributing to six of those goals.
Since then De Bruyne has taken over key creative duties and is the Citizens’ leading assist provider in the top-flight having set up nine strikes.
Silva trails behind on eight, four of which came before the arrival of the Belgian, while Navas is on three and Sterling is on two.
The absence of the big money summer signing will allow the Spain international to more space to operate in the centre of the pitch as although De Bruyne starts in a wider position, he often drifts inside.
Conversely, Sterling and Navas are out and out wingers and this would widen City’s play to allow them to recapture the form that saw them look like running away with the Premier League earlier in the campaign.
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