Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne will miss next season’s curtain raiser against Arsenal, according to the Daily Star.
The Belgian international is still recovering from the hamstring injury he picked up in the Champions League at the start of this month, and it is believed that he won’t be in the squad for the Community Shield on August 6th.
De Bruyne was visibly devastated when he was forced off before half-time versus Inter Milan in Istanbul. It was the second consecutive Champions League final where he had to leave the pitch early.
Of course, the fact that his team went on to win the game 1-0 would have eased his disappointment, although he would have clearly liked to have been on the pitch for the final whistle, considering the huge contribution he made in getting to that stage of the tournament.
With the Community Shield being looked at as a glorified friendly, De Bruyne’s absence won’t be seen as a big blow by manager Pep Guardiola, although he may also be ruled out for the first Premier League game of the campaign against Burnley a week later, which will be more of a concern.
De Bruyne could be back for the UEFA Super Cup
While the midfielder could miss the first two competitive fixtures, there is hope that he will return for City’s game against Sevilla on August 16th, but it’s likely that he will only make the bench.
De Bruyne hasn’t needed surgery, which would have meant a longer absence for the 31-year-old but, even so, the fact that he will be sidelined for pre-season will set him back fitness-wise, compared to the rest of his teammates.
Strengthening City’s midfield is a priority
With Barcelona having confirmed the signing of captain Ilkay Gundogan, and Bernardo Silva also tipped to leave, De Bruyne’s injury will mean that Guardiola could have very few senior options in midfield for the start of the campaign.
The impending arrival of Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea will certainly help matters, while a bid for West Ham captain Declan Rice is believed to be in the works.