The former Manchester City player says the Belgian excels in all areas of his game, suggesting he would be the outcome if laboratory scientists were tasked with creating the perfect midfielder.
Horlock was lavish with his praise for De Bruyne on the We’re Not Really Here show ahead of City’s draw with Porto, and for all he marvels at the 29-year-old’s abundance of technical talent, our 1999 Wembley hero has been equally impressed with his efforts off the ball.
“For me it’s plain and simple, he is the best midfielder in the world,” he said.
“He’s got everything. Football intelligence, where to be, when to be there, his balance, he can go anywhere, left foot, right foot. Where do you stop with this lad?
“He is the best. He would go into any team and make them better. He’s incredible. He’s a dream to watch and must be an even bigger dream to play with.
“If scientists made a complete midfielder in a laboratory, they’d make De Bruyne.
“His work-rate out of possession and his willingness to win the ball back, people don’t talk about that with flair players, but he’s just got the lot.”
The former Northern Ireland international thinks the Academy graduate is on his way to becoming a key figure in the City engine room and praised Pep Guardiola for how he has managed the 20-year-old’s development.
“I think he trusts Pep,” added Horlock.
“He’s nurtured him really well and is playing international football now. He just seems to have this aura about him now.
“It’s an incredible story for someone so local to get in the squad first and foremost, but then to cement it and go on to the international scene.
“Pep’s come out and clearly thinks the world of Phil. He’s going to be a massive player for City going forward.”
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