According to a recent report from the BBC, Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne has suffered a knee injury which could keep him out of action for some time. The Belgium international played a vital part in helping Pep Guardiola’s storm to the Premier League title last season in scoring eight goals and laying on 16 assists for the Citizens, helping inspire them to a record-breaking 100 points from their 38 league games.
Yet it appears that the 27-year-old faces a sustained spell out of action due to a knee injury suffered in training, an injury which could open the door for £4.5 million-rated sensation Brahim Diaz (as per Transfermarkt) to stake a claim for a regular first team spot.
Ultimately, there were few better players in the Premier League last season than City’s De Bruyne, with the Belgian star winning the club’s Player of the Season award to underline just how influential he was in a team full of stars that produced the goods last time round.
And in helping Belgium reach the last four of the World Cup during the summer, the 27-year-old looked set to again play a crucial part in whatever success Guardiola’s side will have this term – thus, his likely lengthy spell out will surely come as a blow to the City chief.
And while the likes of Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden may fancy their chances of replacing De Bruyne in the City midfield, 19-year-old Diaz also has an opportunity to finally stake a claim for regular football at the Etihad Stadium.
Like Foden, the attacker was on the peripheries of the first team last season in appearing ten times for the Citizens, although only one of which was a start coming in their Carabao Cup quarter-final victory over Leicester City.
But by coming on as a substitute in their routine Community Shield victory over Chelsea at the start of this season, it’s clear that Diaz is again in Guardiola’s thinking ahead of the 2018/19 campaign, and he may be even more prominent in his thoughts following now following the injury to De Bruyne.
Ultimately, the Spaniard has genuine quality in the attacking areas, which was none-more-so evident than in pre-season last year when he scored an outstanding goal against Real Madrid, showing pace, confidence, and poise the pick out the top corner.
Add in his close control and incredible eye for a pass, and City have certainly got themselves a gem – a gem they risk losing given Diaz has reportedly yet to agree an extension to his current deal, which expires in 12 months.
Yet the door could well be open for the 19-year-old to prove his worth to Guardiola in the absence of De Bruyne, an opening which could also convince the attacker that his future lies at the Etihad Stadium.
Man City fans… what do you think? Let us know!