It is very rare to find a Manchester United legend heap praise on any Manchester City player, but with Kevin De Bruyne being this exceptional and phenomenal, we understand why Wayne Rooney would laud him.
The Belgian returned to the Premier League in 2015 after an ill-fated spell with Chelsea earlier in his career with a point to prove, and he really drove that point home.
This season, De Bruyne was in immense form, scoring 13 league goals and equaling Thierry Henry’s assist record of 20 in a campaign, something that caught the eye of many, including Derby County's Rooney.
“There’s no doubt Man City’s biggest weapon is De Bruyne, arguably one of the top three players in the world right now,” the Derby midfielder wrote in his latest column for The Times.
“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.”
“He 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.”
“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.”
De Bruyne has since proved to be worth every penny of €60m for Manchester City, scoring 56 goals and laying on 89 assists in 220 total appearances.