Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says the club are “lucky” to have a player like “humble” Kevin de Bruyne.
The Belgium midfielder scored the winner in City’s 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday
City are top of the Premier League and De Bruyne, 26, has been key in their impressive start to the season.
“Kevin is a guy who is clever, humble and shy guy but you can see the quality he has. We are lucky to have him,” Guardiola told BBC Match Of the Day.
“He was again outstanding. He makes absolutely everything. He is good in small spaces. He has speed, fight and can attack through the channel.”
Ex-Chelsea player De Bruyne played more key passes (six) and made more passes in the opposition half (47) than anyone else at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
De Bruyne was sold to German club Wolfsburg by Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho in January 2014 when he was Chelsea manager.
Current Chelsea boss Antonio Conte described De Bruyne as “a complete player”.
“He’s a top player,” Conte added. “He’s good technically and fast, a good personality, he runs a lot.”
‘De Bruyne has taken a step forward’
De Bruyne, who joined City from Wolfsburg for £55m in August 2015, scored City’s 67th-minute winner with a rising left-foot drive from outside the area.
The midfielder has now scored nine of his last 11 City goals from outside the box, including each of the last four.
He has also been involved in 28 goals in 43 Premier League appearances for City since August 2016, with seven goals and 21 assists.
Guardiola believes the player’s versatility and character make him stand out among his peers.
“He played in a holding midfield position against Chelsea. He can play in four or five, six positions,” Guardiola added.
“It’s not easy to find that with this kind of talented player. He has made a step forward.”
City’s win sends out a message – Delph
City’s victory over Chelsea sent them top of the Premier League table above rivals Manchester United – 4-0 winners over Crystal Palace – on goal difference.
Guardiola was keen to play down the significance of beating last season’s champions, but City midfielder Fabian Delph felt it was a result the rest of the league will take notice of.
“It sends out a massive message,” Delph told BT Sport.
“We needed to come out on top. There’s a togetherness in the team and you could see that on the pitch”