The Blues have managed to cope without influential captain Vincent Kompany so far, but will find it even harder to cover for the flamboyant Frenchman
There were perhaps three injury scenarios Manchester City feared most heading into the new season. Two of them have already happened.
It was very nearly a full-house, but Ilkay Gundogan somehow managed to avoid any serious issues following an ugly foul from behind by West Brom’s Claudio Yacob in the League Cup 10 days ago.
Gundogan was making his first start following a nine-month injury lay-off with a ruptured cruciate ligament, and nobody wanted to see him get injured again, either out of sheer sympathy or due to the fact he is the one City player who can play in any of Pep Guardiola’s three midfield roles.
City dodged a bullet there, given he was back in action a mere six days later, but they have certainly not had any luck with the other two.
Given the Blues were ultimately unable to sign a new centre-back before the transfer window closed, it became especially important that Vincent Kompany stayed fit.
And given they decided they did not have the resources to pursue a second left-back ( one of the consequences of Dani Alves’ last-minute u-turn ), they needed to keep Benjamin Mendy fresh as long as possible.
Kompany succumbed to yet another calf injury – his 15th in five years – during the last set of international fixtures.
The Belgian deserves immense credit for battling his way back to fitness so many times, but it is a sad reality that few were shocked to see it happen.
The fact Mendy has ruptured cruciate knee ligaments is certainly a shock, as well as a cruel blow to both him personally and to City’s chances of success this season.
Put bluntly, the business City did not do this summer is just as likely to impact their campaign than the business they did do.
It was very tempting to say City had assembled the best squad in the Premier League thanks to the five players they brought…