Journalist Rob Dawson has claimed that Pep Guardiola began to come up with a plan for Manchester City to play without Kevin De Bruyne last season.

The Citizens will now be without the midfielder for the next four months after he recently underwent surgery to fix a hamstring problem.

Despite this blow, one journalist has shared some behind-the-scenes details suggesting that the treble winners could be equipped to deal with the 32-year-old’s absence.

Dawson says Guardiola created plan to deal with De Bruyne absence

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Speaking in a recent video on the ESPN FC YouTube channel, Dawson had this to say on the matter.

He said: “The interesting thing about De Bruyne is that Pep and City, even last season were beginning to come up with a plan to deal with not having him available.

“There were times in very, very tight games where Pep would take De Bruyne off after around 60, 65 minutes and a couple of years ago that would be completely unthinkable.

“So it’s not that you take De Bruyne out of that City team and they don’t function at all, obviously it’s a massive miss because of the number of assists that he generates, they have got players in there that can step up, the likes of Phil Foden.”

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Last season saw the midfielder feature in 49 games for City across all competitions, scoring 10 goals and delivering 31 assists along the way.

However, out of the six Premier League games that De Bruyne didn’t feature in, the Blues won five of them and lost the other, scoring 16 goals in the process.

This shows that the team didn’t have too many issues in terms of winning games and scoring goals without the Belgian, who City paid £55m to sign back in 2015, in the side.

Despite that, not having him available for the next four months will undoubtedly be a big issue for Guardiola’s side, regardless of whatever plan the Spaniard may have thought of in terms of setting his team out without De Bruyne.

Moving forward, with the treble winners having a tough test ahead of them this evening when they take on Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium for their second Premier League game of the season, this will be a great opportunity for the likes of Phil Foden, as Dawson mentioned, to show he can step up and fill in for the injured Belgian.

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