Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says his side are “in trouble” with a mounting injury list that threatens to disrupt the club’s perfect start to the season.
And their seventh successive triumph in all competitions came at a cost as midfielder Bernardo Silva became the latest player to pick up an injury which, according to Guardiola, will keep him out for “the next few weeks”.
The Portuguese international joins Kevin de Bruyne, Jack Grealish, Mateo Kovacic and John Stones on the sidelines.
This comes after a summer in which City sold Riyad Mahrez, Cole Palmer and Aymeric Laporte, skipper Ilkay Gundogan joined Barcelona at the end of his contract and Joao Cancelo, plus youngsters Tommy Doyle and James McAtee, left on loan.
Given the riches he has lavished on his squad, few will have sympathy for Guardiola.
However, coming in a period where City have three more Premier League games, including a trip to Arsenal on 8 October, a Carabao Cup tie at Newcastle and another Champions League outing, at RB Leipzig, before the next international break, Guardiola says “we are in trouble”.
“We are in trouble but I am not going to say ‘oh, we have a lot of injuries’. It is what it is,” said Guardiola
“With the players we have, we will go for it. As long as we have that mentality, that is good
“We have five really important players injured and to sustain that for a long time would be difficult.”
City spent more than £200m on new players in the summer, including Matheus Nunes, who made his first start since arriving from Wolves for £53m on deadline day.
“We can’t have, with the salaries and the budgets for the transfers, 55 players,” added Guardiola. “It would be chaos for the clubs. They would go bankrupt.
“Unfortunately it is a long time for Kevin. John didn’t play, it’s a little bit long. Maybe Kova is coming back. Jack maybe in a week or 10 days, but after he needs his condition.”