Kevin De Bruyne: gamechanger
Image Credit: Getty Images 

It took just 21 minutes for Kevin De Bruyne to quell any lingering doubt. Having been out since the 23rd minute of the opening day of the season with a hamstring injury, the Belgian returned to action with a goal and an assist away at Newcastle United in January, coming on in the second half to steer a difficult game in Pep Guardiola's side's favour and re-assert his claim as the dominant midfielder in the league. 

De Bruyne's genius puts City in pole position

The thing about a player like De Bruyne returning to an already in form Manchester City is not only what he brings to the team, which is one goal and four assists in five games, but what he unlocks in his teammates. Phil Foden in particular seems to shine even brighter with the Belgian waving his creative wand next to him, scoring a sensational hat trick at Brentford and looking menacing in every match. 

The balance that De Bruyne adds to the City midfield is something to behold. With Rodri dictating play in his trademark deep-lying playmaker role, the Belgian is free to roam as a number 8, picking up half-spaces and interchanging with the likes of Foden, Bernardo Silva and Julian Alvarez in what is effectively a front five. 

With Manchester City fighting for an unprecedented double treble, in pole position to reach the UEFA Champions League quarter finals and with an FA Cup quarter final away at Luton Town to come, the matches are coming thick and fast and De Bruyne's minutes will have to be managed, but do bet against one of the finest players in the club's history from playing a crucial role in all three competitions.

This is the tightest and most exciting Premier League race for a few years, with City, Liverpool and Arsenal all staking their claim for the trophy. In these situations, you look to players and teams that have done it all before, and for De Bruyne, Guardiola and Manchester City it sometimes seems routine.

Premier League, be warned. 

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