The Debate panel back City to cope without Belgium international
Last Updated: 15/08/18 10:56pm
If any manager can cope without Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola can, according to Craig Bellamy.
The Premier League champions have confirmed De Bruyne injured his right knee in training, with sources close to the player claiming he could be sidelined for up to four months.
De Bruyne is currently undergoing tests to discover the full extent of the injury.
Former City forward Bellamy acknowledged losing the 27-year-old for a prolonged period would be a huge blow to City’s title defence, but has backed Guardiola to deal with the setback.
“It’s sound crazy but they can cope without him,” he told The Debate.
“You want to see De Bruyne playing but with the quality City have, the way the play and especially with the manager they have, if they need to tweak the system to suit the players who are available the best coach I’ve seen in England – Pep Guardiola – can.
“It’s a big loss for Manchester City but with the quality of players they have and the manager, I can see them being able to pick up the points without him.”
A two-month spell on the treatment table would see De Bruyne miss Premier League fixtures against Huddersfield, Wolves, Newcastle, Fulham, Cardiff, Brighton and Liverpool, in addition to the start of their Champions League campaign.
But due to an embarrassment of riches at Guardiola’s disposal, especially in De Bruyne’s position, Danny Higginbotham believes there are other players City would miss more than the Belgium international.
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He added: “Guardiola can transform players, so he’s got plenty of players that can go and play in that position.
“Bernardo Silva has started the season very well, he can fit into there. Ilkay Gundogan is another, Riyad Mahrez can come inside as well and play in those position.
“Guardiola has got an embarrassment of riches but because he’s such an open-minded manager and players can play in a number of positions, he will be able to fill the void.
“De Bruyne is obviously going to be a big miss, but City can deal with it. When you look at most of the top teams in the Premier League, they got the odd player of the quality of De Bruyne – City have got three or four.
“Because of the quality City have got in that position, bizarrely enough, there are other players who could be more missed than De Bruyne, not because of quality but because of strength in depth.”
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