But where did Kevin De Bruyne go? Injured in the ankle during the Euro, the playing master of the Citizens is struggling for the moment to find his best level. Since his return in mid-September, it is above all his grip on the game which is no longer the same as before. Against West Ham on Wednesday, he was once again titular. But as since the start of the season, his influence was very limited. How to explain this drop in speed?
After the meeting, Pep Guardiola wanted to calm things down. “Kevin is coming back from very important injuries. And he was present today as always. He has already been so important for us against Liverpool, Chelsea or Brugge. Day after day he will find his best form.” The Catalan is therefore convinced that Kevin will become De Bruyne again and that it is only a matter of time.
But the English media are still wondering. This Thursday morning, Sky Sports headlined on its website: “Kevin De Bruyne, always looking for his optimal form”. For the sports channel, KDB “still hasn’t peaked this season”.
A tenure of the Devil in the Carabao Cup, the smallest FA Cup, also means a lot. “Normally, this is the kind of meeting where Pep Guardiola rotates his squad. Especially a player of the stature of KDB to rest him a bit. But he was started at the London Stadium to put him a few minutes of more in the legs to bring him back to his best level. “
For Sky, De Bruyne “sometimes gave the impression of being tired this season”. Even if our colleagues admit that everything is not to be thrown away. “There were a few classy moments in his performance. Like that pass for Sterling which proves he still has his amazing vision. He just needs to find some level of consistency in his game.”
One statistic perfectly illustrates KDB’s current problems. In the Premier League, he still has not distributed an assist in 304 minutes. An anomaly for the one who holds, with Thierry Henry, the PL assist record.
The local Manchester Evening News also returned to the form of the Citizen. “Kevin De Bruyne has been Manchester City’s best player in the past and could be again. But he’s not in good shape right now. While he has carried this City side, he is, currently, a simple complementary player “, he believes.
The daily asks a question in the background: should it remain incumbent? “Taking the time to get him back on his feet is very important. But for the moment it seems unfair to put his rehabilitation through before giving the opportunity to a player in better shape to show what he is capable of. Bernardo Silva has been exceptional. As number 8 this season, Ilkay Gundogan has recovered from injury in the last two games and is back to his usual level while Phil Foden has clearly outperformed the Belgian in recent months. “
However, it’s hard to put a player like KDB on the sidelines. “The problem is, he’s such an incredible talent. Even when he’s bad, he can do things 99% of footballers can’t. It just takes a goal or an awesome assist to forget. the overall content of its matches. “
According to our colleagues, “The decision to put their best player on the bench is not an easy one as he needs to play. But the hard truth is that City seem to be a better team without him at the moment.” While specifying: “De Bruyne is too good a player not to return to form”. This Saturday, City face Crystal Palace. The opportunity to rectify the situation. Hoping that the Belgian is titular …
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When will we see the best De Bruyne again? “Currently, City are better off without him”