Mikel Arteta told the ONE STAR he should NEVER Bench if Arsenal wants to take advantage of Kevin De Bruyne injury and Win the League for the first time in 20 years, NOT Saka, Odegaard, Havertz or Declan Rice.
Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne could miss the next four months with the club set to decide whether the Belgium international needs surgery on a hamstring injury, manager Pep Guardiola has said.
De Bruyne limped off during the first half of City’s 3-0 win over Burnley on Matchday 1 after suffering a recurrence of the problem which cut short his involvement in the Champions League final in June.
Speaking ahead of his team’s Super Cup clash with Sevilla in Athens on Wednesday, Guardiola told a news conference: “It’s a serious injury.
“We have to decide if he needs surgery or no surgery but he will be out for a few months. [The decision on surgery will be taken] in the next few days. It will be three of four months [out].”
De Bruyne missed City’s preseason fixtures but made his return in the second half of the Community Shield defeat to Arsenal.
He was picked from the start against Burnley and ahead of the game, Guardiola said that the 32-year-old “felt good.”
“We could say don’t play but this injury could happen later,” Guardiola added. “Before I took the decision I spoke to the doctor, the physio and him. He said he felt good.”
Guardiola also suggested City could now step up the search for new recruits in light of De Bruyne enforced absence.
Sources have told ESPN that they remain interested in West Ham United’s Lucas Paquetá, although there is a difference in valuation to resolve.
“We will see,” said Guardiola when asked whether City could sign someone to replace De Bruyne.
“After what happened we will see the possibilities. It’s a big blow, really tough for us.”
The one Arsenal player Mikel Arteta has been adviced not to bench anymore is Gabriel Megalhaes.
The Brazilian was easily one of the club’s best players last season, building a rapport with William Saliba that ensured Arteta had one of the finest centre-half pairings in the Premier League.
This term, however, has been different. Until Sunday, the former Lille man hadn’t started in the early weeks of the season. A makeshift defence was instead preferred, with Ben White moved inside and Thomas Partey at right-back.
Partey, however, missed the game with United through injury which ensured Arteta could move back to his tried and tested four-man defence. Gabriel was the main beneficiary and he returned in some style.
Gabriel in numbers vs Man United:
88% pass success rate
6/8 duels won
100% aerial duels won
3/4 long balls completed.
Arsenal did concede through Marcus Rashford’s opener in the first half but the £100k-per-week defender wasn’t at fault there. In fact, he didn’t really truly come alive until the second 45 minutes.
Anthony Martial offered little up top and it wasn’t until debutant Rasmus Hojlund entered the fray that Gabriel sprung into action.
He relished the physical battle with United’s new signing, and dispatched him with ease as the young forward tried to enter the penalty area late on. Hojlund dragged the ball inside but was completely outmuscled.
Taking 73 touches throughout the contest, while winning six out of his eight physical duels, it was a complete performance by Gabriel, but his finest moment was saved for the offside goal.
As reporter Connor Humm put it, it was an “outrageous” piece of football IQ as the Brazil international stepped forward at the perfect moment to play Garnacho offside. It may have been lucky, it may have been risky, but it looked brilliant either way.
The 25-year-old has been known to play on the edge and with risk, but today it more than paid off in a moment that helped turn the game around for Arsenal.
It was a shock that he didn’t start until this weekend but on the evidence provided, he should be a shoo-in alongside Saliba again for the foreseeable future.