The international break is done and dusted, players have strapped on their club boots and the Premier League season is set to get back underway.
Fans are joyous with excitement as their boyhood clubs return to their quest of a highest possible domestic finish. Achievement, the one thing every player from the top of the league down to the bottom have in common.
For Manchester City, however, a new number has yet to whiff the aroma of a City match day, has yet to put on a sky blue jersey and stroll out onto the turf, has yet to link up with current Citizen heroes such as Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero.
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That man, is of course, Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian, after a transfer saga that lasted all summer, finally signed the dotted line with the Sky Blues in a deal worth £55 million. It was the second most expensive in Premier League history behind Angel Di Maria.
The question is, will the 24-year-old attacking midfielder already be given the nod ahead of City's visit to Selhurst park on Saturday?
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Plan of action
The answer, judging by Manuel Pellegrini's past, is no. At least not starting anyway. Instead, the Chilean gaffer is most likely to bench him for the Palace game as he won't want to interrupt the flow of an already winning team in such hot form.
A better plan of action is to gradually place him in the side ahead over the course of a few games. A much better plan of action rather than simply throwing the young Belgian into a side that has started off this campaign so swimmingly.
Another question is, where will De Bruyne play for the citizens? The most obvious solution to this answer would be to place him out wide, replacing Spanish winger, Jesus Navas.
Although, to quote leading German ESPN columnist Raphael Honigstein:
"Though capable of playing on either flank, where he is a superb crosser, De Bruyne has been flawless for Wolfsburg playing centrally because he has so much freedom and space"
So, judging by this statement, would De Bruyne by more suited playing just in behind Sergio Aguero in a 4-4-1-1 formation?
With Navas and Silva remaining on the wings and Toure and Fernandinho making up the central midfield? It would make sense considering City's creativity mostly comes from the centre.
Also, that would be unimaginable for opposition defences surely. De Bruyne and Silva linking up whilst drifting ever so dangerously on the outside and inside, meanwhile Navas provides width and Toure pushes forward for yet more support.
Whether Pellegrini opts for this style or plays the snappy young Belgian out wide remains to be seen, although one thing we are sure of, is how Premier League gaffers glance towards the Etihad and look at that roster - wishing they could have a go in deciding how to utilise all that strength.
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