After such an incredible 2017/18 campaign for Kevin de Bruyne, the Belgian has suffered a very frustrating start to the new season.
The midfielder was sidelined for three months due to ligament damage to his right knee after appearing in City’s opening fixture against Arsenal.
Then, upon his return, De Bruyne damaged ligaments in his left knee during last week’s Carabao Cup win against Fulham.
He now faces up to six weeks out of action.
“We are a stronger team with Kevin than without him but we have to live without him,” Guardiola said afterward.
That’s some understatement.
De Bruyne was sensational last season, narrowly missing out on the PFA Player of the Year award as he helped City reach the 100-point tally in the Premier League.
But it’s been a fairly strange career for the 27-year-old.
He spent the first few years of his professional career in his home nation, playing for Genk.
That was until Chelsea snapped him up for £7 million.
But the central midfielder was never given an opportunity at Stamford Bridge, being sent immediately on loan to Werder Bremen before being sold to Wolfsburg just two years after arriving in England.
But it didn’t take long for De Bruyne to get his career back on track.
He only spent two seasons at Wolfsburg before Manchester City splashed a massive £55 million on him.
At the time, it was deemed a lot of money for a player that failed to make the grade at Chelsea.
But City had been watching him for some time.
And now, footage has emerged of ‘the match that made Man City buy Kevin de Bruyne’.
It came in the Europa League clash between Wolfsburg and Inter Milan in March 2015 – and the midfielder was simply brilliant.
In the first-leg of their last-16 tie, Wolfsburg found themselves 1-0 down to the Italian side.
Then, De Bruyne turned on the magic.
He assisted Naldo’s equaliser, then bagged himself a brace to turn the match around.
THE MATCH THAT ‘MADE MAN CITY BUY DE BRUYNE’
Take a look:
The then-23-year-old finished that campaign with 18 goals and 28 assists for both club and country, picking up the Bundesliga Player of the Year award.
He also helped Wolfsburg win the DFB-Pokal and DFL-Supercup.
That summer, City made their move and the rest is history.