De Bruyne back to drive City’s title defence
Sports Live: Kevin De Bruyne can’t wait to play a key role in Manchester City’s bid for a third successive Premier League title as the Belgian star finally returns to peak form and fitness.
Pep Guardiola’s side start their title defence at West Ham on Saturday with De Bruyne providing a reassuring presence for the champions. City have bolstered their treble-winning squad with the œ62 million ($75 million) club record signing of Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri, while also adding accomplished Juventus full-back Joao Cancelo.
But the prospect of De Bruyne driving City forward from midfield is a
mouthwatering prospect for Guardiola. The 28-year-old was an influential figure in City’s 2017-18 Premier League title triumph, but he had only a bit-part role in last season’s domestic dominance due to knee and muscular injuries.
De Bruyne made just 22 starts in all competitions before returning to prove he was still a force to be reckoned with by winning the man of the match award in City’s FA Cup final thrashing of Watford. He is confident those injury issues are behind him after proving to be one
of the stand-out players during City’s pre-season tour.
“I’m fine. What happened last year happens to everybody. I have been a
professional for 11 years now and had one season where I had some injuries,” De Bruyne said. “I just get on with it. Now I feel good. I’m happy I could play a whole pre-season.”
Leroy Sane’s long-term absence with anterior cruciate ligament damage suffered in last weekend’s Community Shield against Liverpool is a blow, but City have more than enough depth to prosper without the Germany winger.
Dhaka 09 August (campuslive24.com)//MIH