Manchester City filling out into top contender with ‘top player’ Kevin De Bruyne thriving

'He's someone that gets in and around the box and creates and scores goals' says Raheem Sterling of Man City teammate Kevin De Bruyne, 'every team needs a player like that'.

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne in action during their Premier League match against Southampton last weekend. Phil Noble / Reuters / November 28, 2015
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Manchester City are beginning to realise their powerful potential, with some key players back on duty and Kevin De Bruyne's influence on the rise as the Premier League leaders head to Stoke City on Saturday.

De Bruyne has had an outstanding start to his City career since signing from Wolfsburg at the end of the August.

The Belgium star’s two goals against Hull City in the League Cup quarter-finals at midweek means De Bruyne has contributed nine goals and eight assists since his club record £55 million (Dh305m) transfer.

Teammate Raheem Sterling said De Bruyne’s all-action game is bringing the kind of contribution top clubs need from top players.

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“He’s a top player. He’s someone that gets in and around the box and creates and scores goals. Every team needs a player like that,” said teammate Raheem Sterling.

“It’s most important. That’s what big players do and we’re happy to have him at this football club.

“But if you saw him in Germany, the number of goals he was involved in, it was obvious he had quality.

“It’s always a test for players to come to England, play regularly and contribute but that’s what he’s done. Credit to him, he’s been incredible.”

City’s injury list is also gradually clearing up with goalkeeper Joe Hart and striker Sergio Aguero doubtful for the trip to the Britannia Stadium, but in line to play against Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League on Tuesday. Manager Manuel Pellegrini admits he is delighted to have those figures returning.

And, significantly for City’s hopes of maintaining their position at the top of the Premier League, Spain midfielder David Silva and Ivory Coast forward Wilfried Bony proved they are back to full fitness by helping City thrash Hull to reach the League Cup semi-finals.

Silva started his first game since early October after recovering from an ankle injury, while Bony scored on his first start since the beginning of November following hamstring trouble.

That duo’s return is well-timed as City look to pull clear of second placed Leicester City, who are only behind the leaders on goal difference.

“It was very important for David to have 80 minutes after a long injury,” Pellegrini said.

“It was also important for Bony to play for 65 minutes after he only recovered from a muscle injury a few days before Saturday.

“It is great for all the players to be involved in all competitions.”

City’s squad strength is likely to be tested if they are to sustain a challenge for four trophies, including the FA Cup when they begin that run in January.

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