Mens Team

De Bruyne hoping for ‘easier’ 2019/20

CELEBRATION: Kevin De Bruyne congratulates Raheem Sterling in Nanjing.
Kevin De Bruyne is hopeful the absence of injury will give him the opportunity to recapture his best form next season.

The Belgian, who was so influential in Pep Guardiola’s first Premier League title win, was forced to endure several spells on the sidelines as Manchester City swept the board in 2018/19.

De Bruyne admits he feels he fell short of the heights he reached the previous season and now back in training, he believes the new campaign should prove to be less of a personal challenge.

“I think it’s going to be easier for me,” he said after the 4-1 win over West Ham United in the Premier League Asia Trophy.

“I came back and got injured after four days so my season was very disrupted.

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“When I played I was happy with myself but I couldn’t reach the level that I reached before because I played 70 games without interruption. To have to stop five times is more difficult.

“I’m just preparing myself easily and I know we’ve got four weeks until the first league game.”

The 28-year-old emerged from the bench after the break in Nanjing, charging down a West Ham clearance and squaring for Raheem Sterling to complete the scoring.

It was a competent first outing for Guardiola’s side, though the Hammers were not without a threat, particularly in the opening 45 minutes. 

City's quality shone through in the second half as gloss was added to the score line, but while De Bruyne was satisfied, he wasn't reading too much into the display.

“It went alright,” he added.

“I don’t think we were at the best level, but we expected it.

“I’m happy with the performance for the first game of the season.

“Eight players just came back for four days, so to play 45 minutes already is a great task. I’m happy, but maybe a bit more tired than happy.

“We did our job really well and also the young guys played great.”

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