In 2025, Kevin De Bruyne’s contract with Manchester City is set to expire, although a renewal is undoubtedly in the works.
He could be the next person to receive a statue at the Etihad and might be remembered as the greatest player to ever don a Blues jersey. He assisted City in securing the Treble as they entered the promised land, but this summer there appears to have been a minor change in strategy.
After key members of the City dynasty under Pep Guardiola, Ilkay Gundogan, Riyad Mahrez, and Aymeric Laporte all left this summer, the team was forced to consider its options for the future.
Gvardiol and Doku, both 21 years old, have given the team new vigor, and Mateo Kovacic has given the midfield invaluable experience. Three of the last four games have been losses for the squad, but Premier League fans will assume that this is merely a hiccup before the juggernaut really gets going.
In De Bruyne’s extended injured absence, Rodri has emerged as City’s most crucial player. After receiving a red card against Nottingham Forest last month, City lost each of the three games he was suspended for.
City, however, has largely survived without De Bruyne. Naturally, he is missed, and Erling Haaland has not received the same level of support this year as he had last year due to the playmaker’s absence.
In De Bruyne’s place, Julian Alvarez has excelled, skillfully dueling with Phil Foden when the England star cuts inside from the wing. Such is the power of the talisman that it will take two players to compensate for the loss of De Bruyne.
Although the loss to Arsenal was disappointing, City has so far won both of their Champions League games and is only two points off the top spot. This summer, De Bruyne turned 32, and it appears that time is catching up with him.
His present absence explains why Guardiola was eager to rest him at various stages over the past few seasons. De Bruyne may not return until far into the holiday season after leaving the game against Burnley with an injury.
Regarding his long-term position within City’s team, the roughly 18 months left on his contract will be critical. The Belgian will never leave City, and perhaps he feels the same way.
However, due to his age and injuries, Guardiola may have to decide whether a replacement, whether internal or external, needs to be found in the future. At the Etihad, the Catalan has established a dynasty, which demands forethought.
So, should City make plans around him going forward or should they get ready for a new leader? De Bruyne will always be the center of attention at the club, but the period of time before a potential extension could hold the key.