By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Kevin de Bruyne is “an upgrade on David Silva”, former Manchester City midfielder Trevor Sinclair has claimed.
The Belgium international was the architect of City’s convincing 3-0 win at Chelsea as he followed up his matchwinning Champions League display against Paris Saint-Germain in midweek with another brilliant performance.
De Bruyne has settled smoothly back into Manuel Pellegrini’s team over the last fortnight after two months on the sidelines with knee ligament damage.
The 24-year-old joined City from Wolfsburg for a £54million fee last summer just 18 months after he was off-loaded by Chelsea for £18million.
Even at the exhorbitant price that the Abu Dhabi-owned club paid for De Bruyne, Sinclair is convinced that it is beginning to look good value.
“He’s had a monumental impact since arriving at Manchester City,” the BBC pundit told Match of the Day on Saturday night.
“A lot of people pointed the finger at Manuel Pellegrini saying he lost the dressing room when the Pep Guardiola story was released, but for me it was this guy’s injury.
“He’s got everything, and I never thought I’d say this, you’ve got David Silva, but this boy’s an upgrade on him. He scores more, he assists more and he’s more of an athlete.”
In 36 matches for City this season, De Bruyne has scored 15 goals and supplied 14 assists from his attacking midfield position.
In other Manchester City news, the team’s win at Stamford Bridge has lifted them to third in the Premier League table to 60 points, 12 adrift of leaders Leicester.