De Bruyne out of the opening game
Manchester City superstar Kevin De Bruyne has been ruled out of Belgium’s Euro2020 opener against Russia after failing to recover from a facial injury.
— sky sports news (@1947followback) June 11, 2021
De Bruyne was forced to leave the field during Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat in the Champions League final, following a heavy collision with Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger.
Although Belgium boss Roberto Martinez revealed that the surgical procedure following the injury took just 20 minutes, it seems as though the injury remains serious enough to keep De Bruyne out of the reckoning for the Red Devils’ opening Euro2020 fixture.
Roberto Martinez has revealed that Kevin De Bruyne underwent a minor medical intervention on his eye socket (one of 20 minutes). He ll join the squad on Monday. Probably he can play without a mask. “He will join the squad.” pic.twitter.com/9DTRtq6PQu
— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) June 5, 2021
Belgium still expected to progress
Drawn in a group with Russia, Finland and Denmark, Belgium will be expected to waltz through their opening fixtures, as they eye up an improvement on their third-placed finish at the 2018 World Cup.
De Bruyne has been instrumental for Manchester City this season, providing six goals and twelve assists in his 25 Premier League appearances.
This form was enough to earn him the PFA Player of the season for the second consecutive year, and he was looking to carry this form into this summer’s tournament.
Best player in the Premier League for the second year in a row, as voted by his fellow players 🏆🏆
— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 6, 2021
How quickly he will recover to top form remains to be seen, but who could Belgium turn to in the meantime?
Well, Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Leandro Dendonker played in a midfield pair with Youri Tielemans in Belgium’s 1-0 win over Croatia four days ago, with Yannick Carrasco and Dries Mertens taking the attacking midfield spots.
With Eden and Thorgan Hazard on the bench, along with the highly-rated Jeremy Doku, Belgium still have a plethora of options to call upon in the attacking third.
None of them are quite De Bruyne’s level though, and they will be hoping that the midfielder can return ahead of the knockout stages.
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