Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Fernandinho do not represent a magic formula for Manchester City in the Premier League title race, Pep Guardiola insists.
The midfield trio were at the heart of City’s 100-point season last time around, with Fernandinho providing a base from which dual-playmakers Silva and De Bruyne were able to wreak havoc.
Asked whether City were missing the benefit of De Bruyne operating at full tilt ahead of Arsenal’s trip to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, Guardiola insisted the responsibility for hauling in Liverpool’s five-point advantage at the summit lay with the collective.
“All the players play at a high level when the team is playing good, not for one single reason,” he said.
“What we have to do is play good and when our game is good then the potential of individual players will increase.”
Benjamin Mendy could become part of that process once more at the weekend.
The France left-back suffered swelling in his knee following his return from surgery against Burton Albion in the EFL Cup but is back working with Guardiola’s squad and was set to be assessed after training on Friday.
However, the manager has “no idea” when club captain Vincent Kompany will return from his latest calf setback.