England’s all-time leading goalscorer says the Belgian is very similar to Steven Gerrard in how he drifts out wide to find space and deliver crosses, while he also possesses the uncanny ability Ryan Giggs had to pick out passes:
“De Bruyne reminds me a bit of Steven Gerrard. He drifts out to that right-hand side and plays some brilliant balls whipped in, like Stevie used to. What I like most is he takes chances, he takes risks, he doesn’t go for the easy ball — he plays the hard pass.”
“You watch, when he’s in possession in space other players start running and that’s the biggest compliment you can pay a midfielder. When I played with Ryan Giggs and Giggsy got the ball, I made runs because I knew he’d try and find me, and if it came off he’d get me through on goal. De Bruyne is like that.”
It’s high praise indeed from Rooney, especially as De Bruyne plays for City. However, the 29-year-old’s incredible ability cannot be disputed.
Since arriving at the Etihad five years ago, the Belgian international has scored 56 goals and provided 89 assists in 220 appearances for the Citizens.
It means De Bruyne averages a goal contribution every 1.5 games for the Manchester club, which is an incredible statistic considering he is not generally seen as an attacking midfielder or a forward.
With the player still in his peak years, there is no doubt that there is more to come from him over the next few seasons.