Manchester City have become ‘weaker’ since Kevin De Bruyne’s reintroduction to the side.
De Bruyne, seen by many as the Premier League’s most talented player, had a day to forget at the Etihad on Sunday as Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw’s goals secured a victory for Manchester United to end City’s 21-match winning run.
De Bruyne misplaced several passes and had an evident lack of sharpness, perhaps as he has only recently returned from injury.
Ilkay Gundogan, who is City’s top scorer in the league this season with 11 strikes, has shone in the 2019/20 Player of the Year’s absence, and talkSPORT’s very own Alex Crook believes De Bruyne’s reintroduction to the XI has impacted the German’s influence.
“On current form, does Kevin De Bruyne weaken Man City?”, Crook asked on talkSPORT.
“I know it’s outlandish, but who was the player who was starring for Man City week in, week out when he was injured? It was Ilkay Gundogan.
“When De Bruyne is in the team, Gundogan loses his attacking threat and naturally has to play a bit deeper.”
The defeat to United may only prove a blip in City’s apparent charge to the title, given they retain an 11-point lead over United at the top.
Oleksandr Zinchenko said he expects a response from his side in Wednesday’s clash with Southampton.
The left-back said: “We have to win the next game, we have to be more focused. We are not allowed to go back. We have to go forwards.
“We are still playing in all competitions. We want to win everything this season and I hope we can do this.
“We are still alive and we can (afford) mistakes but we are going to come back stronger, I am pretty sure of that.”
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