Premier League English

Man City should be clear on next major Kevin De Bruyne decision

With only a year left on his Manchester City deal, Kevin De Bruyne’s latest outing for Belgium indicated clearly the decision the club ought to take in addressing the talismanic midfielder’s situation.

Making his presence felt positively around the RheinEnergieStadion pitch on Saturday evening, just a two-and-a-half hour away from his Belgian birthplace in Drongen, Kevin De Bruyne showed why the Sky Blues need not make a snap transfer decision that may not work out well for their continued dominance in the Premier League next season.

Justifiably, the playmaker, 33 next week, had been rotated and rested more recently for both club and country. Yet his punishing run to poke home Belgium’s second goal against Romania is ample evidence there’s still power in the De Bruyne engine yet to be tapped.

Speculation had arisen over his future fuelled by his comments earlier this month regarding a potential switch to Saudi Arabia. “At my age, you have to be open to everything,” the midfielder admitted, with just 12 months left on his City deal.

“You’re talking about incredible amounts of money in what may be the end of my career. Sometimes you have to think about that. If I play there for two years, I will be able to earn an incredible amount of money.

“Before that I had to play football for 15 years – I may not even reach that amount yet. Then you have to think about what that could mean next. But at the moment I haven’t had to think about that yet.”

There is a crossroads on the horizon. Just the thought itself City’s arguably greatest ever player might have played his last his last Blues games tugs at the heartstrings.

However, unforgettable though he may be after his departure from the club in the near future, with his levels probably never to be matched, he is not irreplaceable. Phil Foden – the Premier League Player of the Season – has shown himself to be more than an ample in all facets as a worthy successor and is reportedly in line for a new mega deal that would make him the League’s highest-paid player.

City are evidently already planning for life post-KDB. Yet that should not necessarily equate City allowing him to leave without any serious efforts to persuade him to stay. In fact, Pep Guardiola himself had admitted earlier this year: “I would love him to stay until the end of his career, but everyone is everyone.”

The iconic Spaniard has never been one to step in the way of any player who had intentions to leave and it’s not uncommon either for City to allow loyal servants to run down their contract, with Fernandinho and Ilkay Gundogan being two examples.

De Bruyne’s display for Belgium against Romania is a strong indication that City should adopt the same stance with their talisman, who is indisputably still a potent force to be reckoned with, as the Belgium skipper actually came close to scoring in two of his previous three second-half shots prior to his goal. IN terms of longevity on the pitch, he has now managed two full 90 minutes in the space of five days – and will go the whole nine yards again in Wednesday’s crunch encounter with Ukraine.

Understandably, it is ultimately all down to the player himself, and if he is enticed by the more than lucrative Saudi offer, City would ultimately have to respect his wish.

Finally, this is a big summer for City, and they ought to keep a firm hold of their prize assets while they still are able to, hopefully.