We’ve got a bit of a Kevin De Bruyne special this morning, but I’m sure we can all live with that!
With three different stories on our Belgian maestro, it would be a shame not include them all in our Sunday morning media round-up, wouldn’t it?
So, without further ado, let’s get cracking with Belgium boss Roberto Martinez’s assertion that the City play-maker has developed into one of Europe’s best players.
Quoted in The Sun (via the Manchester Evening News), the Red Devils boss said: ‘Kevin de Bruyne is just such a thinker.
‘You get footballers that have got really good execution of what they do, and others that are very good thinkers — he has got both.
‘If you analyse his performances, you will find it very, very difficult to find a better midfielder in European football. He has a very good chemistry with Pep Guardiola. I think they have a very good understanding.
‘When you look at Man City’s fixtures, the first thing that comes into my mind is, ‘Kevin will be influential in that’ — and that’s an elite category.’
Sports Illustrated carry KDB story #2, confirming the Blues star has now become the most prolific assist king in Premier League history.
They write: “Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne has overtaken Manchester United legend Eric Cantona to top the list of players in the Premier League with the best assist-to-game ratio.
“The Belgian's enviable ability to produce goal-scoring chances at the drop of a hat has seen him usurp the charismatic Frenchman, with 31 assists in 71 matches - an average of 0.44 assists per game.
“As reported by the Premier League's official website, De Bruyne now sits above the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Mesut Ozil, David Beckham and Thierry Henry in the star-studded list of assist masters.
“The 26-year-old former Chelsea man has been instrumental in his side's blazing start to the Premier League season, which has seen the club win six of their first seven matches.”
Lastly on our ‘We need to talk about Kevin’ section, and some words from the man himself after he emerged unscathed from Belgium’s win in Bosnia – despite the Sarajevo playing surface.
Goal write: “De Bruyne slammed the pitch in Sarajevo as ‘unacceptable’ after his side edged Bosnia-Herzegovina in World Cup qualifying.
“A late winner from Yannick Carrasco saw Belgium to a 4-3 victory at the Stadion Grbavica on Saturday.
“De Bruyne, who played 90 minutes, hit out at the state of the surface, which was bumpy and troubled both teams.
‘I was worried I'd get injured,’ the Manchester City attacker said. ‘This was unacceptable. I don't understand how we could play on such a pitch.
‘Last time I played on such a bad pitch was when I was a seven-year-old kid.’
Moving on and Benjamin Mendy’s knee operation has been a success, according to the Sunday Mirror.
So much so, that the France star could yet be in contention for next summer’s World Cup.
The report reads: “City defender Benjamin Mendy is on course to make the World Cup.
“City’s £52million Frenchman underwent surgery to repair ruptured cruciate ligaments last week and there were fears that he would miss the rest of the season and his nation’s tilt for glory next summer.
“But the surgery was a success and City believe that Mendy will be back for the last month of the campaign and will have enough time to put himself in the frame for a place in France’s squad for Russia.”
Let’s hope they’re right.
Next, German football website DFB have interviewed Leroy Sane on the ‘Pep effect’ to his fledgling career.
Sane enjoyed a fantastic September and played in Germany’s 3-1 win over Northern Ireland earlier in the week.
Asked how much the City boss had helped him so far, Sane said: ‘So much, my positioning, my passing, my movement in space – Pep has helped me in all of these areas and improved me as a player.
‘I am well suited to the way he likes to play football, in that as attackers, we have to press aggressively after losing the ball. Whether with Norbert Elgert – my youth coach at Schalke – or later in the junior national sides, we’ve always been taught to press.
‘These three coaches all like to play in a similar way – Elgert, Löw and Guardiola -, they want to have the ball, press high up the pitch and whenever possible to win back the ball in the opponent’s half.
‘I can see a trend there that has been great for my development. If you win the ball higher up the pitch, you score goals more easily. There’s less of a distance to run. (laughs)
Finally, the Carabao Cup fourth round tie between City and Wolves is set to be a lively affair with the Championship side announcing they have sold out their sizeable Etihad allocation.
The Birmingham Mail report: “Wolves have announced that they’ve sold out their away allocation for the trip to Manchester City.
“The Carabao Cup fourth round tie takes place on Tuesday, October 24th (8pm kick off) and Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wanderers side will be backed by a bumper old gold following.
“The club were allocated 10% of the seats and all 5,500 have been snapped up well ahead of the meeting.
“Supporters have taken up the impressive pricing by City with tickets going at just £10 an adult and £5 concessions.”
That’s all for today!