Kevin De Bruyne sympathises with Raheem Sterling over game time

Kevin De Bruyne sympathises with Raheem Sterling’s ‘frustration’ at lack of Man City game time after England star said he would consider move away

  • Manchester City are in Belgium to face Club Brugge in the Champions League
  • Kevin De Bruyne says he understands Raheem Sterling’s game time frustrations
  • Sterling said last week he would consider leaving City to play more regularly
  • England forward has started just three Premier League matches this season
  • Pep Guardiola said Ederson and Gabriel Jesus could be back for Tuesday’s game
  • They flew directly to Belgium after Brazil’s World Cup qualifier with Uruguay 

Kevin De Bruyne has expressed sympathy with Raheem Sterling over his ‘frustration’ at not playing regularly for Manchester City.

The England forward has started just three Premier League and one Champions League games so far this season and admitted last week he would be ‘open’ to a move away from the Etihad Stadium if it meant more game time.

And his team-mate De Bruyne, speaking ahead of City’s Champions League fixture with Club Brugge in his Belgian homeland on Tuesday night, admits he can understand Sterling’s point of view.

Kevin De Bruyne (right) says he feels sympathy with Raheem Sterling (left) over his game time

Sterling admitted he would consider a move away from Man City in order to play more often

He said: ‘Rotation is important because we are playing four competitions and mostly going far, but I understand the frustration. I am a player that needs rhythm also.’

Having lost to Chelsea in last year’s Champions League final, City are determined to go one better, but Pep Guardiola’s side have made a mixed start to the group stage.

They thrashed RB Leipzig 6-3 at the Etihad Stadium on matchday one but then lost 2-0 away to Paris Saint-Germain in a game from which they should have taken more.

But City could be boosted by the return of Brazil internationals Ederson and Gabriel Jesus in Bruges after they missed Saturday’s 2-0 Premier League win over Burnley.

De Bruyne said that like Sterling he needs to play regularly in order to get into a rhythm

The pair had been in action for their country in a World Cup qualifier in South America on Thursday and flew directly to Belgium from Brazil.

Guardiola said: ‘We will join them tonight in the hotel. Tomorrow they will do the preparation and maybe play, maybe not.’

Goalkeeper Ederson played the full 90 minutes of the 4-1 win over Uruguay but forward Jesus was replaced after 61 minutes in Manaus.

Man City’s Brazilian pair Ederson (left) and Gabriel Jesus (right) went to the second division match between Lommel SK and Excel Mouscron on Sunday after flying direct to Belgium

De Bruyne was forced off with a facial injury in last year’s final loss to Chelsea after a collision with Antonio Rudiger.

That issue, followed by an ankle problem, affected him during Euro 2020 in the summer and he was still hampered at the start of the current campaign.

He said: ‘Coming into the Euros, I was happy to come back so soon but then the ankle injury happened. I got tackled, my ligament snapped.

‘I tried to get back in the best way possible but it took some time and it was painful but I feel much better now.’

De Bruyne admitted his memories of last season’s final have become a blur.

He said: ‘After the collision I don’t remember a lot. I don’t remember how I got in the hospital, I remember going back to the team hotel at 10 in the morning still in my City kit.’

De Bruyne was forced out of last season’s Champions League final with a facial injury

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