Kevin de Bruyne has admitted he is concerned about the impact of extending the current 2019-20 Premier League season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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The Manchester City and Belgium star has admitted that players will need at least a three to four week preseason if they don’t play for six weeks and although he understands why leagues are waiting as long as possible to make a final decision, he believes priotirizing next season should be the main aim.
Speaking to Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, De Bruyne revealed his stance on what should happen with the current season.
“I have no idea if we are going to play again,” De Bruyne said. “Just like here, in England they want to wait as long as possible before making a decision. But as a footballer, it’s not that clear cut. If you do nothing for six weeks, normally you need a pre-season of three to four weeks. If we restart immediately, everyone will be in the treatment room after a couple of games.
“That’s clearly not the intention. But there is a lot of money involved and I think that waiting too long to make a decision could cause problems for next season. It is not that we have a very long summer break and can just shove everything closer together. It would be a shame to stop early after such a good season, but if it avoids problems next year, it must be done.”
If Man City were top of the table, would De Bruyne have a different stance? Most probably. But that’s a little unfair as he isn’t saying scrap the season altogether, just that no more games should be played past a certain date. That could leave Liverpool to be declared as Premier League champions and the current league positions deemed as final for 2019-20, just like they are doing in De Bruyne’s homeland of Belgium.
De Bruyne, 28, is a frontrunner for the Premier League and PFA Player of the Season given his incredible form so far this season and with Man City in a very good position in the UEFA Champions League (they lead Real Madrid 2-1 on aggregate after the first leg of their UCL last 16 clash away at Real) they are the favorites to win the UCL. These comments should not be taken lightly, as De Bruyne and Man City are, in theory, closer than they’ve ever been to winning the Champions League.
The Belgian ace has already joked that any previous date he had in mind for retirement has been pushed back as recent time spent at home has shown him he isn’t ready to hang up his boots anytime soon. His views are very interesting and perhaps give us a inclination as to how other players are feeling, even if they aren’t outspoken.