De Bruyne has not featured for City since the opening weekend when he picked up a severe hamstring injury. The Belgian attacking midfielder was described as a &aposbig loss&apos by his boss but in his absence Alvarez has stepped up to the plate.
The Argentine has bagged seven goals and five assists for the Blues this season and is continuing to flourish in Manchester. But Richards fears there could be a selection issue on the horizon, especially with De Bruyne now on the mend.
Speaking on Sky Sports&apos Super Sunday, the 35-year-old said: “Well we talked about the World Cup – when you win the World Cup, you become more important in the team. A player like Kevin de Bruyne gets injured, and I thought itd be someone like [Phil] Foden who steps up and takes his place but its actually been Alvarez.
“Hes able to adapt, and the relationship between him and [Erling] Haaland is always going to be there because he has a manager who is insistent on playing them both, whether hes on the right, left, through the middle. Hes always in the team, his quality is always there to see.
“Thats the difficult thing because De Bruyne usually likes to play as a ten and weve talked about him when hes on the right, whipping in the balls, and itll be about who you lose – is it Foden, is it Bernardo Silva if he drops further back? You cant really take him [Alvarez] out the team but De Bruyne can fit in anyway in this team.”