Jurgen Klopp insists Kevin De Bruyne injury will not impact Man City’s title defence

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Though Kevin De Bruyne’s three-month injury layoff is a blow to Liverpool’s rivals Man City, Jurgen Klopp insists it will not impact the Premier League title race.

De Bruyne is expected to be sidelined until mid-November, and will miss a host of high-profile clashes including City’s trip to Anfield on October 7.

The Belgian scored 12 goals and laid on a further 21 in 52 appearances in all competitions last season, and was the main competitor to Mohamed Salah for Player of the Year.

His absence will hamper City’s fortunes, as Pep Guardiola aims to successfully defend the title, but despite leading the most viable opposition, Klopp has claimed the champions will get by without De Bruyne.

Furthermore, he rejected the assertion that Liverpool should be celebrating De Bruyne’s injury, saying “I wish him the absolute very best” in an interview with Sky Sports:

“I think somebody who thinks like that, about a situation like that, is an asshole, to be honest.

“I am not like that. First of all, I wish him the absolute very best.

“I love this player, I wanted him desperately when I was at Dortmund and he was at Chelsea, but Jose [Mourinho] didn’t give him to me!

“What a season he had, what a World Cup he played. I really feel for him.

“They have options of course, like they always have options, they brought in Riyad Mahrez, but they can all play in different positions.

“Bernardo Silva can play a bit deeper, Foden can play in positions, Gundogan can play in positions.

“Nobody needs to worry about Man City and their quality, there is still a lot there.

“We don’t look at the other teams, we really only try to make the best of our situation, and that will hopefully work.”

NEW JERSEY, USA - Wednesday, July 25, 2018: Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' and Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez during a preseason International Champions Cup match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the Met Life Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp is right to highlight City’s strength in depth in his claim that De Bruyne’s layoff won’t derail their season, with both Mahrez and Silva impressive in the first games of the season.

The emergence of Phil Foden provides Guardiola with another option, and it would be remiss to suggest Liverpool’s chances have increased as a result of injury to one player.

Instead, the manager’s approach that “we really only try to make the best of our situation” is wise, as the Reds should still be aiming for three points in every game.

The hope is, however, that when City arrive on Merseyside in two months’ time, De Bruyne’s absence could at least be the difference in a title six-pointer.

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