De Bruyne grateful for Silva as City pair achieve gold standard
Kevin De Bruyne believes lining up next to David Silva in Manchester City's midfield has helped him enjoy the most complete season of his career to date.
The Belgium international has played an integral role in helping City dominate in the Premier League, with Pep Guardiola's side needing just one more win to secure the title after already claiming the EFL Cup.
De Bruyne has contributed seven goals and a league-high 15 assists without shirking his responsibilities in City's engine room.
"It's probably the most complete [season I've had]," he told the media ahead of the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final tie with Liverpool.
"I play like a central midfielder now, I need to do a lot of stuff, but the thing I'm happy about is I could play almost every minute without any problems and play at a level that's consistently high."
While De Bruyne's performances have seen him installed as a leading contender for the PFA Player of the Year award, he feels team-mate Silva deserves to be in the running for the accolade as well.
The pair have formed an outstanding partnership as the creative force in a City team that is on track to reach a century of both goals and points in the Premier League.
Silva has not allowed his standards to dip despite spending time away from the squad this season following the "extremely" premature birth of his son, Mateo, in January.
"He can make the difference every time he wants to. He's probably one of the best this season," De Bruyne said of the Spain star.
"Since I came here, he's been unbelievable, he helped my game in a lot of ways. When he plays, we often win.
"For me, he is [in the running for Player of the Year], but obviously in the end when we did the voting we cannot choose any City players. But if you look at the team this year, there are so many players who could get noticed."
KDB: In the end, people talk about (our record at Anfield) but i'm only here two and a half years. This is only the second time i'll play here. We have to try to manage tomorrow, get a lead if possible, if not we can finish it next week.-- Manchester City (@ManCity) April 3, 2018
With the domestic title almost secure, De Bruyne and the rest of the City squad can now focus fully on their bid to conquer Europe.
They return to the scene of their only league defeat this season on Wednesday, with Jurgen Klopp's side scoring three goals in the space of eight minutes before surviving a late scare to triumph 4-3 on home turf.
"I think we had a 10-minute spell when we lost control of the game. It was 50-50 at the time, we lost a few balls and they scored quickly," De Bruyne recalled of the game in January.
"Even then, we tried everything to get something out of the game. It was a crazy game, up and down, but for the neutral, beautiful."