The entire Manchester City squad has laid the foundation for Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland to return and make their mark this season. With the pair both sidelined for large portions of this season due to injury their teammates have helped put City in a strong position with the pair now both back to full fitness.
The Manchester City squad had to soldier on without their star duo for a large section of this season. But their absence provided other players with the opportunity to make their mark. Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez in particular stood up to be counted while De Bruyne and Haaland recovered from their injuries. Their performances were a key part of City’s revival after a run of poor results in late November and early December. They weren’t alone with Bernardo Silva, Rodri and the rest of the City squad stepping up to put the treble winners in a position to attack the second half of the season with their star duo back on the pitch.
It’s a testament to the world champions’ personality that they overcame De Bruyne and Haaland’s absence to lay the foundation for what lies ahead. Speaking following City’s 2-nil win over Everton Pep Guardiola was proud of the efforts of his entire squad. He said: “We are here without them and still we are there. But with them, we are stronger. You don’t have to be clever men to realise that. I am not going to undermine all that their mates have done, with Phil (Foden), Julian (Alvarez), Bernardo (Silva).”
The City manager was also quick to praise the personality of his squad adding: “We have a team with huge personality in difficult moments otherwise we could not be here again and again.”
While praising his entire said Guardiola also was quick to highlight the quality Haaland and De Bruyne add to his squad. Guardiola added: “These guys help us to win games. The game today was proof. Two moments today we won and we go home. They have special qualities, these guys. They have the ability in the final third to create something that is not in the stats, not in the books.”
The entire City squad has laid the platform for the second half of the season. With Haaland and De Bruyne back and firing the work done by Phil Foden, Julian Alvarez and co may be looked back upon as a crucial contribution to City’s season come the end of the campaign.