No De Bruyne, No Rashford; what stars will miss Premier League opener?

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith 9 Aug 2021 16:20 CEST 5 min read
Kevin de Bruyne injured

The Premier League season kicks off with Arsenal vs Brentford on Friday, August 13 with the rest of the opening fixtures happening that weekend.

It will be the first chance for fans to see their new stars in action, although the likes of Jadon Sancho and the yet-to-be-announced Romelu Lukaku are not expected to feature.

While fans will be excited for the new season, and an opportunity to see some new faces turn out for their teams, there will be some major stars missing through injury.

Who will miss the first set of fixtures?

Kevin de Bruyne - Manchester City

Kevin de Bruyne is arguably the Premier League's best player, but Pep Guardiola won't be able to rely on the Belgian superstar at the start of the season.

The injury he sustained in the Champions League final saw him miss the start of Euro 2020, and De Bruyne then injured his ankle in the last-16 clash with Portugal.

He played the rest of the tournament with painkillers and bandages, but the issue appears fairly serious. He missed the Community Shield defeat to Leicester, and although he has been cleared to return to training, it's understood the injury can't be risked or surgery may be required.

De Bruyne looks set to miss City's opener against Tottenham.

Marcus Rashford - Manchester United

Marcus Rashford's injury issues have been well-documented ever since he tore a muscle in his shoulder back in November 2020. He played through the pain last season, but sat out most of England's European Championship campaign due to the problem.

He confirmed on social media that he would be having shoulder surgery this summer, and it's understood he could be out until October.

That would mean missing at least the first seven of Man Utd's league games.

Andrew Robertson - Liverpool

Liverpool finally looked like they had rid themselves of the injury curse that had plagued them last year. Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez had returned to full fitness over pre-season, and Jurgen Klopp looked set for a full compliment of players available to him for their opener against Norwich.

However, in their final pre-season friendly, against Athletic Bilbao, Andrew Robertson landed awkwardly after blocking a cross, and hobbled off.

The severity of the injury is unknown as of yet, but on first viewing, he looks set to miss the first few games of the campaign.

Greek left-back Kostas Tsimakas is expected to fill in, although this injury is a huge blow for Klopp's side.

Phil Foden - Manchester City

Just like his teammate De Bruyne, Phil Foden also missed the Community Shield final after suffering an injury at Euro 2020.

Foden started England's opener, but was then dropped after injuring his foot. It was first a precaution, although now it looks slightly more serious.

Phil Foden now has competition from Jack Grealish at Man City, but he will miss the first few games through injury

Phil Foden now has competition from Jack Grealish at Man City, but he will miss the first few games through injury

He has injured a ligament in his foot, and has been relying on a protective boot ever since the Euros. He has been using that less in recent weeks, but he is still several weeks away from full fitness.

Wesley Fofana - Leicester

A horror challenge in Leicester's pre-season friendly against Villarreal ended Wesley Fofana's season before it had begun.

Fofana confirmed that he has broken his leg, and he will be out until 2022. Whether or not he plays any part in Leicester's season seems unlikely, and the club are now in the hunt for a replacement.

It comes as a huge shame for a player who impressed so much in his debut Premier League campaign.

Thomas Partey - Arsenal

Arsenal's Thomas Partey will also miss the start of the season after injuring his ankle against Chelsea in the first game of the Mind Series.

It's been reported that he will be sidelined for up to three weeks, meaning Granit Xhaka will start the season in midfield, after the club decided to keep him.

Thomas Partey will miss Arsenal's season opener against Brentford

Thomas Partey will miss Arsenal's season opener against Brentford

Partey will also miss part of the season through participation in the Africa Cup of Nations, so his Premier League minutes will be fairly low this season.

Other notable mentions

Both Emiliano Buendia and Ollie Watkins have knocks and could miss the season opener for Aston Villa.

Players returning home late from the Euros, like Chelsea's Mason Mount, won't feature, neither will anyone who participated in the Olympics.

Gabriel Magalhaes and Rob Holding will miss Arsenal's first game, meaning Ben White will start, while Timothy Castagne, Jonny Evans and James Justin compound Leicester's defensive injuries.

Ryan Sessegnon is out for Spurs, while new signing Christian Romero is unlikely to be fit. Pedro Neto is still out for Wolves, as is Brighton's Tariq Lamptey.