Pep Guardiola says Kevin De Bruyne is “irreplaceable” – but is confident City will find solutions during his four-to-six week absence

Though his return can’t come quick enough, the City boss is confident others can fill the sizeable void De Bruyne will leave.

“You have to know that I am going to miss Kevin a lot,” said Pep.

“He is almost irreplaceable for the quality he has. He was nominated the best player in Premier League last season.

“We know how good he is. At the same time, we have to find replacements while he is out.

“You cannot win titles without the respect the players have for each other.

“Quality wins games, but titles are won because the captains build something for the team and everyone accepts.

“We are going to miss him like Sergio, who has been missing for almost one year, one of the best strikers in the history of the Premier League.

“We have to move forward. We went to Stamford Bridge and won with 14 players. The players were together and moved forward.


“As the manager and backroom staff we have to find solutions. The player who plays in his position has to use their skills. This is the only thing we can do.”

And ahead of our FA Cup 4th Round tie at Cheltenham Town on Saturday, Pep revealed he is looking forward to playing against the League 2 side and admits his team will have to defend set-pieces well against The Robins.

“Of course I enjoy it (the FA Cup),” he said.

“I respect the managers and players in these competitions, with COVID and the problems they are facing with low wages. I

“I pay more attention to these teams because I don’t know them.

“The throw-ins from Cheltenham are more dangerous than any free kick or corner. I have to know them because I don’t know them. I have to know them as much as possible.”