Pep Guardiola insists he won’t rush Kevin De Bruyne back into the side despite admitting Manchester City are lacking creativity.
City have dropped to fourth in the Premier League table after four games without a win, with the champions beaten 1-0 at Aston Villa in midweek. The Citizens are now six points behind leaders Arsenal, ahead of this weekend’s trip to face Luton at Kenilworth Road.
Rodri’s return from suspension will provide City with a boost in midfield, but Guardiola insists it is ‘too simplistic’ to blame the defeat at Villa on the Spaniard’s absence.
“Rodri is important definitely, but it’s too simplistic to say it’s just that,” Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference.
“There are many factors, but there’s lack of consistency in our process which has made a lack of creativity. We haven’t had that feeling of we’re going to break or create chances.”
City have felt the absence of Kevin De Bruyne, who led the league for assists last season but has not featured since the Premier League’s opening weekend.
The Belgian international is closing in on a return to first-team training, but Guardiola insists he will not rush the 32-year-old back after his recent injury issues.
“I think he has started to run on the pitch but he didn’t train once with us. The Club World Cup is in what, two weeks? So it is maybe a bit early for Kevin, but I don’t know.
“Kevin is so important but unfortunately he had a tough injury at the beginning, three or four months he is still recovering so don’t put any pressure on him.”