The Belgian star has continued his key role in the Citizens’ midfield in recent seasons.
Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson has warned Manchester City to consider Kevin De Bruyne’s workload ahead of the new season.
De Bruyne played a crucial role in City’s midfield as they edged out Liverpool in a close title race last season. The 31-year-old will have to play for Belgium when they travel to Qatar mid-season for the World Cup games.
Lawrenson believes City will defend their title in the upcoming campaign but must stay cautious of De Brunye’s fitness.
“I think just the same as last year but I would have City as narrow favourites,” he said.
“But I think it’s very, very, very close. You know, what if De Bruyne gets injured for four months. That’s the big thing from City’s point of view, who’s going to play in his position?
“Well you argue there’s no one in the world at the moment that’s capable of playing in that position and running the team and working hard, making assists and scoring lots of goals. It remains to be seen.
“Also the effect of the World Cup, if Belgium go all the way then what will De Bruyne be like for the last four or five months of the league season?”
Man City’s great squad depth will most likely help City to deal with De Brunye’s possible injury.
The likes of Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden, and Jack Grealish can take on attacking duties in midfield.
Meanwhile, the newly-arrived Kalvin Phillips can also play alongside Gundogan in a midfield pivot if Pep Guardiola opts for more defensive stability.