Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted that Kevin De Bruyne’s return to fitness is a big boost to the team’s Premier League title defence, and hoped that the player will remain fit for the rest of the season.
De Bruyne was injured early in the season and has been out for quite some time now as he suffered another one, delaying his return to the first-team. The Belgian midfielder made his second start since his return in the third round of the FA Cup against Rotherham United.
Guardiola is happy to see his star midfielder back, and insisted that the team’s success last season would not have been possible without De Bruyne’s performances.
“We spoke with him yesterday to play 65-70 minutes, full intensity, and to do everything that is good for his rhythm. He played an incredible game, created a lot of chances and he has the vision to see what other people cannot see,” he told a news conference, according to ESPN.
“Last season he played an incredible number of minutes and this season it is just 400 minutes when everyone else plays 2,000. Hopefully, in the last part of the season he is able to help us because we need him.”
“I said many times how important Kevin is for us. Without him, last season would not have been possible. We have done incredible in terms of results. We have an opponent [Liverpool] that has done better than us, without us having him, and that can happen,” the Spaniard concluded.
It remains to be seen if the Belgian’s return will help Manchester City cut the four-point deficit to league leaders Liverpool and help them defend their Premier League title for the first time.