David Silva has tipped Kevin De Bruyne to get even better as he grows into his role as one of City’s senior players.

The Belgian has had a remarkable impact since he arrived at the Etihad Stadium four years ago, directly contributing to 118 goals in 185 games and establishing himself as one of the Premier League’s top operators.

De Bruyne’s mercurial ability has combined wonderfully with Silva’s artistry to form the beating heart of the City midfield and El Mago, whose evergreen talent continues to shine brightly aged 33, believes the best is yet to come from a team-mate he identifies as a leader.

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“Kevin is a fantastic player and we are lucky to have him,” said Silva.

“He’ll be one of the players to make a big step forward in the future because he’s one of the most experienced in a young squad.

“As time goes by your time arrives. Last season we missed him a lot, but he’s going to be great for us.”

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It’s nine years since Silva swapped Valencia for Manchester and he now occupies a slightly different role to the one he fulfilled in the early days.

Adept and comfortable playing across the midfield, his talents were often utilised from wide positions as he won league titles with Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini.

Pep Guardiola’s arrival at the Etihad prompted a move, however, with Silva dictating play and unlocking defences from central areas.

The Gran Canaria native has won plenty admirers in that role and he feels his game has benefited from the switch.

“Under Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini I used to play on the wing and I’m currently playing in the midfield,” City’s No.21 explained.

“The manager has decided to put me in that position. He did well doing that and I feel my skills shine more in there.

“Currently I am in touch with the ball more often, in the build-up in attacking positions. That puts my game in the spotlight.”