King Kev’s return to the pitch could become a season-defining moment. Kevin De Bruyne finally returned to the pitch yesterday in Manchester City’s 5-nil FA Cup third-round tie win over Huddersfield Town. It felt like a massive moment in the season which could have massive implications during the business end of the season.
De Bruyne had been out of action since Pep Guardiola’s side’s opening-day win over Burnley at Turf Moor. The champions had done without the services of their inspirational midfielder since August and a solid platform has been laid for his return during the second half of the season.
The moment finally arrives
When he was finally introduced to the game in the 57th minute he did so to a hero’s welcome. The Etihad rose as one to celebrate King Kev’s return. It was a sensational moment and showed just how much he meant to the City faithful.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 7, 2024
On top of that, it was obvious moments after his introduction that De Bruyne is fully fit and ready to help his side this season. The clever movement and his quality of pass were on display. His ability to create overloads and find himself in dangerous pockets of space was there which will be of great benefit to Manchester City when the big games come later in the season.
His cross and movement to set up Jeremy Doku for his team’s fifth goal were typical of De Bruyne at his best. He played a neat one-two with Oscar Bobb before making a surging run on the outside to then provide a quality cross for Doku to fire home. It was the moment City fans had waited months to see.
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 7, 2024
There will be tougher tests to come for De Bruyne and Manchester City. Pep Guardiola has also said that the Belgian midfielder will need time before he is back at his best. But despite this yesterday felt like a season-defining moment with King Kev’s return.