Pep Guardiola has bizarrely claimed that Kevin De Bruyne is ‘back’ to his best after his stunning winner against Leicester.
This is despite the Belgian playmaker being second only to team-mate Erling Haaland in goal involvements in the Premier League this season.
De Bruyne fired a spectacular free-kick in the 1-0 win at the King Power Stadium to send the Citizens top of the table.
It was his third goal in the top flight this season and his second in a row having found the back of the net in last week’s 3-1 win over Brighton.
And the 31-year-old also contributed with an incredible nine assists – one more than he achieved last campaign.
Still, Guardiola claimed the midfielder has had a below-par season by his standards so far.
But after his beauty against the Foxes, the Spanish boss believes the former Chelsea player is finally showing what he is capable of.
He said BT Sports: “He’s back. He didn’t play good last games, today he was incredible. He knows it.
“He’s a player who needs dynamics and to be free but it’s difficult with a back five and four players close to the back five.
“We have an exceptional team, you have to be patient and not let go of set pieces.
“At the end we were playing at a low pace and we suffered.”
Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand says De Bruyne is ‘by far’ the best midfielder in the Premier League.
The BT sports pundit remarked: “The most chances created and the most assists in the league. I think it’s defining moments in games, controlling the pace.
“He’s honed his skills, it’s about making sure he’s in the right position to influence the game and others around him.
“He’s hands down the best midfielder in the league.
“There’s nobody close to him in terms of performance, way of playing, influence. It’s a real, real joy to watch.
And Joe Cole has argued that De Bruyne could win a Ballon d’Or in the future with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo seemingly more in contention.
He said: “The Ballons d’Or are up for grabs now. Now Messi and Ronaldo may not seem in contention, Messi could return, but now the Ballon d’Ors are up for grabs.
” We saw [Karim] Benzema wins. De Bruyne may think that one day I could be crowned the best footballer on the planet. It’s the company he keeps.