​Manchester City won the Premier League last year in spectacular fashion, overcoming the relentless force of Liverpool to seal a second successive league title by a single point.


Yet, that was somehow achieved without a significant piece of the puzzle missing.


​Kevin De Bruyne.

Kevin De Bruyne

The Belgian's absence for the vast majority of last season through injury didn't prove pivotal for Pep Guardiola's side, which is rather remarkable when you consider how utterly sublime he is with a football at his feet.


On form, there are few better footballers in the world, let alone the ​Premier League, and if his showing in the ​win against Bournemouth is anything to go by: he's back. And with a bang.


There have been occasions already this season that will leave opposing teams watching on trembling in their boots.


An opening day hammering of ​West Ham showed the league that ​City are quite content to brush teams aside, even away from home, with their devastating attack not taking any prisoners on their march towards a third-successive league title.

Kevin De Bruyne

Despite somehow drawing 2-2 with Tottenham in their following game, given their absolute dominance, De Bruyne once again oozed class, with his assist for Raheem Sterling one particular moment that left City fans - and any fan of football for that matter - drooling.


With otherworldly talent in each boot, it was another Belgian masterclass on Saturday as the Citizens saw off the ​Cherries 3-1. Once again, De Bruyne pulled the strings in midfield, suffocating Eddie Howe's side of the ball with his immense ability to retain possession and pick a pass through the eye of a needle.


When you bask in the majesty this City side demonstrated last season, you wonder how can a team so successful possibly be upgraded?


Kevin De Bruyne.

To achieve what they did last campaign, without the 28-year-old for large parts, was nothing short of spectacular, but by adding the midfield maestro into the side, you're simply adding reliability and efficiency to what was already the most well-oiled machine in the country. 


What was clear to see at Dean Court is that with De Bruyne in the side, other players are able to flourish and perform their duties to the highest order.


Operating in a slightly deeper role, it allowed ​David Silva to push further forward, where his lower centre of gravity becomes more dangerous in advanced positions.


Nevertheless, if De Bruyne was stuck in at right back, he'd still be equally as effective as he would anywhere else on the pitch. An ability to play inch-perfect passes from both one yard and 100 yards, his influence on every football match he plays in is indispensable.

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While injecting further quality into an already magnificent football team can only make another domestic treble more likely, its implications on the European stage may bear more fruit.


The only disappointing aspect of Pep Guardiola's reign at the Etihad Stadium to date has been City's shortcomings in the ​Champions League. While their power on the domestic stage is without doubt, for whatever reason that hasn't transferred into European competitions.


Last season, defeat to ​Tottenham on aggregate in the quarter finals was the only blotch on an otherwise spotless quilt, weaved together beautifully by the multitude of stars City boast in their ranks. Therefore, in order to leave that elegantly woven tapestry pristine, perhaps just one string is missing.


Kevin De Bruyne.

Already leading the pack for assists this season, few could look past the former Chelsea man scooping the gong for this season. With four already, his set-up for ​Sergio Aguero on the south coast brought his Premier League tally to 50 from just 123 games. 


The fastest player to reach that milestone in the competition's history.


It must be impossible to imagine how Guardiola must feel with such weapons at his disposal. Well, to try and put things into context, imagine having your favourite sports car. Then, imagine being told you will never have to take it for an MOT or pay tax on it.


Why? Because it's so reliable.

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That is what De Bruyne is. Reliable.


And with this City side, who have only strengthened further during the summer window, Guardiola now has a team capable of challenging on every front, both one these shores and not. This machine just got a system update.


This football team just got even better. Be wary, Premier League, be very wary.