Successive spells on the sideline limited the Belgian’s influence during our Fourmidables campaign, though he has consigned those frustrations to the past with five assists and one goal in our opening four Premier League games.
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It’s been a stellar start to De Bruyne’s fifth year at the Etihad Stadium, but that he has looked very much back to his exceptional best as the beating heart of the City midfield has come as no surprise to the man himself.
“Last year was last year,” he said after our 4-0 defeat of Brighton.
“I’ve started the season really well and I feel OK and the team is doing good.
“We’ve just played four games and there’s still 65 to go in all competitions. It’s a hard season, we need everybody.
“I’m happy with the way I’ve come back, but that was never in doubt.”
With the anguish of injury a not so distant memory, De Bruyne expressed his sympathy for Aymeric Laporte, who was stretchered off against the Seagulls.
Pep Guardiola indicated the Frenchman could be out for a while, but does not yet know the full extent of the problem and his midfield playmaker admits it is a real disappointment, having already been denied the services of Leroy Sane.
“It’s always a shame when people get injured,” added De Bruyne.
“It’s not nice for the team or for the person when you are away for long.
“We already have Leroy [injured] so if Aymeric is out for a couple of months it’s a blow for us.
"But on the other hand, we have to deal with it.
“We lost Vinnie already but it gives possibilities to other people and hopefully John [Stones] will be back soon and hopefully we will be OK.”
Despite a convincing victory over Brighton, Graham Potter’s side more than played their part, with their possession-based style making for an open game.
And whilst De Bruyne feels City were able to capitalise on the visitor's more expansive approach, he was impressed with Potter’s set-up.
“It’s his philosophy and the way he wants to play,” he explained.
“I think it’s good for football because everybody likes to see their team play good football, but obviously it’s very difficult.
“I think they gave us a fair game but it was a decent score for us.”