Connect in the back of the net

Since his £55 million switch from German Bundesliga club Wolfsburg, Kevin De Bruyne has been in scintillating form for Manchester City and without doubt one of the Premier League’s best performers this season.

Unfortunately, the Belgian was stretchered off in City’s League Cup win over Everton last week, after tearing ligaments in his ankle and knee. As a consequence, just how much will Manuel Pellegrini’s side miss the attacking-midfielder, and will his long-term injury effect their title hopes?

De Bruyne came on in the 66th minute against the Toffees, with the scores level at 1-1. Four minutes later he gave City the lead, then set-up Sergio Aguero with a sublime cross to make it 3-1, which was enough to secure their passage into next month’s Capital One Cup final.

 

A game-changer

Despite City’s superstar side, they haven’t had too many players who can change a game in a heartbeat like De Bruyne has this season. Eyebrows were certainly raised when the Man City board broke the bank to secure his services back in August.

But I think it’s safe to say that the 24-year-old has already paid back a large chunk of his £55m fee with numerous stunning displays.

So how much will the Citizen’s miss the Belgium international? Of course, only time will tell. Thankfully for the club, with the likes of David Silva, Yaya Toure, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero – to name just a few – they still have plenty of players who are more than capable of keeping things ticking over during his absence.

However, there’s no doubt that he will be sorely missed. Since arriving on the scene at the Etihad Stadium, De Bruyne has netted 12 goals in all competitions, and has an impressive nine Premier League assists to his name (the most of any City player).

It’s hard to believe that his first spell in England with Chelsea didn’t work out – but he did go onto spend three good years in Germany, proving to the footballing world that he’s one of the world’s best attacking-midfielders.

 

Key fixtures

With huge games on the horizon, it’s a very important time in the season for the Manchester club. City are still fighting strong in four competitions.

Pellegrini’s side have home league games against Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea away in the FA Cup, Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League and the small matter of the Capital One Cup final against Liverpool at Wembley.

Before then though, Pellegrini’s troops are back in Premier League action as they travel to the Stadium of Light to take on Sunderland tonight. City have already beaten the Black Cats 4-1 on two separate occasions this season – in both games De Bruyne scored.

 

Instrumental

Like I said, Kevin De Bruyne has been instrumental in the heart Man City’s midfield this term. But you’d like to think that Pellegrini’s talented squad should have enough to maintain their title challenge, even if they are without their influential attacking ace for the next two months.

 

Written by Gareth Hinton

Follow Gareth on Twitter @Galccfc

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