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New permanent Manchester City captain confirmed in controversial decision



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Manchester City’s new permanent Club captain has been confirmed following the return of Kevin De Bruyne.

The 32-year-old returned from a long-term absence against Huddersfield Town, featuring from the bench during a 5-0 FA Cup third round thrashing at the Etihad Stadium, after a five-month period on the sidelines.

De Bruyne underwent surgery after suffering a ruptured hamstring on the opening weekend of the Premier League season, with Manchester City without the services of the Belgian star for the opening months of the campaign.

The midfielder marked his return with an assist on Sunday afternoon, having been training with the Manchester City first-team since December, and featuring in the matchday squad for last Saturday’s win over Sheffield United.

De Bruyne, who is the longest-serving member of the current City squad, is the only current player to have been at the club prior to the arrival of Pep Guardiola.

The 32-year-old star has made 358 appearances to date, winning 14 trophies; including five Premier League titles and the UEFA Champions League.

The midfielder was handed the captain’s armband upon entering the field against Huddersfield, with Kyle Walker having taken captaincy duties for the majority of the season, in the absence of De Bruyne.

Walker took the role following the departure of Ilkay Gundogan in the summer, despite the Englishman considering signing for Bayern Munich prior to agreeing a new two-year deal.

The full-back was one of five players voted as a captain in the club’s seasonal leadership group vote, and after the return of De Bruyne, the 33-year-old has been confirmed as the new permanent Club captain.

Joe Bray reports that Manchester City’s new official captain is Walker, with the full captaincy order being: Walker, De Bruyne, Rodri, Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva.

Both Walker and Rodri were unused substitutes during Sunday’s FA Cup third round victory.