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Pep Guardiola delivers swift response over possible Kevin De Bruyne role change



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Pep Guardiola has shut down any suggestions that Kevin De Bruyne could take up a new role in the Manchester City midfield.

The Belgian has been on a roll since returning from injury at the start of 2024. Despite suffering through over five months out after hamstring surgery, De Bruyne has delivered more goal contributions than any Premier League player since rejoining the City team.

Although he has shone in his typical attacking-midfield role, some suggestions have been made that the 32-year-old could be pushed further back in Pep Guardiola’s midfield to accommodate blossoming superstar Phil Foden in the centre of the park.

With the departure of Kalvin Phillips from the City squad, deep-lying midfielders may just be the weakest spot in City’s squad-depth after Rodri, while Guardiola has a plethora of attacking talent to choose from further up the pitch.

Despite those suggestions, Guardiola was quick to shut down the idea that De Bruyne could find himself in a new role down the stretch this season.

“No, he has to be in the final third,” Guardiola said. “He has not to defend deeper, no. I want Kevin (De Bruyne) in the final third, it’s his talent. A huge talent is there.”

“He can attack in the final third, he can move a little bit with freedom, right and left, to make his incredible talent.

“But sometimes in moments you have to defend, and the role from Rodri or (Ilkay) Gundogan last season or Bernardo (Silva) this season, (Mateo) Kovacic this season, he (Kevin De Bruyne) has not to.”

De Bruyne appears to be back to his best after recovering from his injury, and City are using his form to remain in position to fight on all fronts heading into the business end of the campaign.

After their 1-1 home draw with Chelsea at the weekend, the Etihad outfit find themselves four points behind league leaders Liverpool, though they do have a game in hand over the Merseyside club.

Meanwhile in the cup competitions, City remain in the hunt for successive triumphs in both the Champions League and the FA Cup.