Fit-again Kevin De Bruyne is feeling good ahead of the new Premier League season.
The Belgian midfielder has been one of the standout players during Manchester City’s Asia Tour, playing all four matches and turning in the sort of performances which suggest his 2018/19 injury troubles are behind him.
Having impressed against Wolves, De Bruyne was at it again against Yokohama F. Marinos, scoring one and setting another up in a 3-1 victory, where his intelligent use of the ball ensured he was City’s creator-in-chief.
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And ahead of the new campaign, the man who was so influential in our 2018 title win has been buoyed by his preseason displays.
“I’m fine,” De Bruyne said after the game.
“What happened last year happens to everybody. I have been a professional for 11 years now and had one season where I had some injuries.
“But by the end of the year I still played 32 games while a lot of players only do that every year.
“I just get on with it. Now I feel good. I’m happy I could play a whole preseason. I’m doing well.”
It was a display which got closest to the high standards set by this team and good result against a Yokohama side who lived up to Pep Guardiola’s pre-match praise, with their commitment to free-flowing, attacking football.
The City boss believed Ange Postecoglou’s team would be ideal preparation for the Community Shield and De Bruyne felt it certainly transpired that way.
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“It was a really good game,” he said.
“I was very impressed with how Yokohama played.
“They gave us a good game and I’m happy with the way we performed.
“We had a tough schedule the last two weeks. We needed this game to get more rhythm and I think it was a good game to end preseason.”
City return to Manchester now, with a week to prepare for the season opener against Liverpool at Wembley Stadium.
De Bruyne expects the start of the new campaign will be less hectic than the fortnight in Asia, but nonetheless is hoping to hit the ground running as he bids to add another winners medal to his collection.
"It’s [tour] always a tough ask because you travel a lot and you need to do a lot of commercial activity and in another sense you need to prepare yourself physically.
“August is a little bit quieter. It starts really in September for us, when all the European games come.
“Obviously next week is a game when we can win a trophy, so we want to be ready to play a good game against Liverpool.”