Wayne Rooney has compared Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne to Steven Gerrard and Ryan Giggs following another outstanding season for the Belgian.
City relinquished their Premier League crown to Liverpool this season however De Bruyne was one of the league’s best grabbing 13 goals and equalling the record number of assists in a season with 20.
De Bruyne still has the opportunity to win the Champions League with City, should they overcome Real Madrid in the last 16 second leg.
In his column in The Times, Rooney heralded De Bruyne as “one of the top three players in the world right now,” comparing the way he plays to Steven Gerrard in his prime.
“There’s no doubt Man City’s biggest weapon is De Bruyne — arguably one of the top three players in the world right now.
“Playing against him was never, ever, easy and I’ll always remember Everton using me and Morgan Schneiderlin, in a 4-4-2, against a City midfield of De Bruyne, David Silva and Fernandinho, with Sterling dropping in. ‘
“They absolutely outnumbered us. Me and Schneiderlin were in the middle of the pitch saying, “What’s going on here?!” We were 3-0 down after 37 minutes and had 18 percent possession in the game.
“De Bruyne reminds me a bit of Steven Gerrard. He drifts out to that right-hand side and plays some brilliant balls whipped in, like Stevie used to.
“What I like most is he takes chances, he takes risks, he doesn’t go for the easy ball — he plays the hard pass.”
Rooney continued, outlining that he also sees shades of Ryan Giggs in the way De Bruyne plays.
“You watch, when he’s in possession in space other players start running and that’s the biggest compliment you can pay a midfielder.
“When I played with Ryan Giggs and Giggsy got the ball, I made runs because I knew he’d try and find me, and if it came off he’d get me through on goal.
“De Bruyne is like that. Teams think they can force him to play it to the side but he can squeeze those passes through the smallest gaps.”