Aymeric Laporte’s debut performance against West Brom proved exactly why Manchester City signed him, according to Kevin De Bruyne.
With John Stones unwell, Laporte was thrust straight into Premier League action only a day after his arrival and slotted seamlessly into the back four as City kept a clean sheet in a convincing 3-0 win over the Baggies.
It was a game City dominated, but Laporte was assured in possession throughout and more than capable of dealing with the physical threat posed by Salomon Rondon.
And De Bruyne, who again turned in the kind of exceptional performance which has become the norm this season, felt the young Frenchman gave a good account of himself.
“He was very good,” said City’s No.17.
“We didn’t give anything away except maybe one chance for Sturridge.
“He needed to come in straight away as Stones got sick in the morning, but he did very well."
“He’ll know [it won’t always be that straightforward] but it was perfect for him the way he came in.
“He was very good on the ball and defensively very solid. He's going to help us to be better and that's why we bought him."
De Bruyne was precision personified as he teed up Fernandinho for the game's opener, before adding the second himself in what was his 35th appearance of the season.
The 26-year-old allayed any fears a gruelling fixture calendar – a consequence of City’s continued participation in four competitions – was having any ill effects on him, suggesting playing through tiredness is part and parcel of the game.
“I’m a little bit tired, but at this part of the season there is not a player who says they feel 100%,” explained De Bruyne.
“I think you feel 100% maybe five to 10 games in a season of 60 or 70.
“I think we have to cope with it. We have a lot of injuries so we just need to do it.
“If the manager gets a chance he will give me some rest but now we have a game at lunchtime on Saturday and then a week of rest.
"We just need to do what we need to do. For the moment, it's going fine."
It’s been a season of landmarks at the Etihad Stadium, with De Bruyne bringing up the latest milestone as he scored the Blues’ 100th goal of the campaign, something, which came as a surprise the Belgian schemer. .
“I didn’t know that,” added De Bruyne. “We are not busy thinking about that.
“We look to win games and in each game score as many as possible as it gets easier if we are ahead.
“In the end I’d prefer to win more titles than to be busy with goals."