Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has indicated that Kevin de Bruyne’s knee injury could have been down to the lack of rest through the summer. The Belgium international had gone through an entire campaign with the Citizens before representing his nation at the World Cup and Guardiola feels the regular gametime may have contributed to him breaking down.
“He will be a big miss like Benjamin Mendy was last season. Kevin was outstanding last season and of course for him and his family, these injuries are never wanted. They are accepted, they are part of the game. Sometimes these things happen. [The players] don’t rest, they have a tough, tough season last season. Human beings have a limit. I’m pretty sure this can be an influence. When you are fresh in your legs, this doesn’t happen.”
De Bruyne was the standout performer for the Citizens over the course of the previous season and he ended the campaign with 21 assists and a further 12 goals across all competitions. Owing to his efforts, the Citizens managed to win the Premier League title in a historic manner after achieving the 100-point mark whilst they also celebrated a double after beating Arsenal to the League Cup crown.
As such, his influence has been essential to the team’s success and it will be interesting to see how they manage to cope with the Belgian’s absence in the coming months. Ilkay Gundogan appears the ideal replacement for him in the starting lineup but Guardiola may also fancy an attack-minded option with David Silva featuring at the heart of the midfield.