Ranking the Impacts of 7 Key Injuries to Manchester City's 2019/20 Campaign

​Raheem Sterling has a strained hamstring, making him the 13th member of Manchester City's squad to spend time on the sidelines in 2019/20.

It's an unlucky number for some people, and Pep Guardiola is among them, having seen his team hampered by injuries this campaign, their title-defence falling apart before we'd even reached Christmas.

Raheem Sterling

Pep has ​admitted he'd doesn't know how long he'll be without Sterling's services. Fortunately for the Catalan, many of the fallen men have now returned to fitness, though their collective absence has already taken its toll on the side.

Here, 90min assesses seven key injuries and the affect they had on ​City's season.

7. David Silva

David Silva

Games Missed: 5

David Silva has been a wonderful servant for Manchester City, but his powers have been waning for well over a year.

The Spaniard is still capable of pulling off the sublime. However, the 34-year-old's ageing legs cannot keep up with the high tempo Guardiola demands as well as they used to.

Pep's recruits won four of the five games they played without Silva, including convincing victories over ​Arsenal and ​Leicester City. They were slick and stylish as they experimented with a new formation, which has no place for El Mago.

This all suggests he has chosen the right time to end his Citizens career, with the midfielder joining David Beckham's Inter Miami next summer.

6. Sergio Agüero

Sergio Aguero

Games Missed: 7

Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne and Sterling came to the fore when City lost their talismanic striker for several weeks over the autumn.

With Sergio Agüero unavailable, his Brazilian understudy provided the goal-threat for Guardiola, Jesus hitting a hat-trick and a brace while the Argentine was recuperating.

Sterling and De Bruyne also chipped in with four and three goals, respectively, easing the pressure on the young South American. 

Despite Jesus' strong performances, he couldn't provide the finishing touches in a 2-1 home defeat to ​Manchester United that all-but ended City's title challenge. You get the feeling things would've been different if Agüero had been around...

5. Oleksandr Zinchenko

Oleksandr Zinchenko

Games Missed: 12

In isolation, Oleksandr Zinchenko's knee injury wasn't too problematic for Guardiola to deal with. Of course, this has to be taken in a wider context, with the fitness struggles of fellow left-back Benjamin Mendy forcing Pep into an uncomfortable position.

The manager was left with academy graduate Angeliño as his only specialist left-back. Pep soon lost faith in his abilities, asking João Cancelo to fill in after the Spaniard's inconsistent displays.

Angeliño has ​since been shipped out on loan to ​Bundesliga side RB Leipzig, highlighting Guardiola's disappointment. He requires top-class delivery from the full-backs if his game-plan is to be executed properly.

4. Benjamin Mendy

Benjamin Mendy

Games Missed: 10

We've already touched on Mendy's injury issues this term, the Frenchman's dodgy knees continuing to haunt him, having missed a total of 85 matches across his first two seasons at the Etihad Stadium due to ligament damage.

Angeliño was never the answer to Guardiola's problems on the left side of defence. Mendy and Zinchenko can both do what the coach demands, but the man they resigned from PSV Eindhoven cannot. 

Being deprived of his two first-choice left-backs for the seismic clash with ​Liverpool in November was cruel, but it probably wouldn't have made a difference as the Reds romped to a glorious 3-1 triumph at Anfield.

3. John Stones

Ederson,Fernandinho,John Stones

Games Missed: 16

If City had purchased a centre-back or two in the summer, John Stones' injury would've been a minor issue.

The Englishman's form has underwhelmed Sky Blues supporters for several seasons, but the team needed bodies in the heart of defence following Vincent Kompany's departure at the end of 2018/19.

That was before Aymeric Laporte was ruled out for four months, which only deepened City's woes and left serious questions over their lack of investment at the back. The fact Stones was out of action during the hectic festive schedule was the cherry on top. 

Guardiola's men were stretched thin as Fernandinho and teenager Eric García stood in, while the self-destructive Nicolás Otamendi was given a start in far too many critical games.

2. Leroy Sané

Leroy Sane

Games Missed: 38

Leroy Sané offers what no other Manchester City player can. They were always going to suffer without his services, the German's last appearance coming in August's Community Shield, when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament.

His blistering pace and pinpoint crossing have made him a menace in the ​Premier League, and the Sky Blues have desperately missed the 24-year-old's presence.

Riyad Mahrez and Sterling are quick, but they're not at the insane levels of Sané. The latter's terrifying turn-of-speed made him a focal point for Pep, who won't have to wait too much longer before he has the wideman back.

1. Aymeric Laporte

Aymeric Laporte

Games Missed: 30

While Sané hasn't been on hand to turbo-charge the attack, the loss of Laporte's leadership and intelligence has left City with a vulnerable backline.

This man is a giant figure in the team, having the same influence on the Sky Blues' defence as the likes of De Bruyne have further up the pitch.

Alas, he was another who ruptured knee ligaments, the Sky Blues losing their defensive linchpin for the first half of the campaign.

The title race wouldn't be dead in the water if Laporte had been around. Liverpool would still hold a lead over City, but the champions wouldn't have produced so many wayward displays.

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Source : 90min