Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne’s creativity makes him a lot like Manchester United legend David Beckham, according to Gary Neville.
Former Red Devils star Beckham forged a successful career out of his ability to provide pinpoint crosses from the flanks and defence-splitting passes from deep.
Belgium international De Bruyne is now doing likewise in the Premier League, with few players in Europe’s top five divisions able to match his assist return since moving to the Etihad Stadium in 2015.
Neville has now paid him the ultimate compliment by likening him to Beckham, with both players possessing remarkable vision and the ability to conjure up opportunities with apparent ease.
After watching De Bruyne lay on two more goals in City’s 5-0 demolition of 10-man Liverpool on Saturday, Neville said in his podcast for Sky Sports: "Kevin De Bruyne has sensational quality, he really has.
"I played with a fantastic crosser and passer of a ball in terms of accuracy, David Beckham, and De Bruyne reminds me of him a lot.
"He is deliberate and precise, it looks like every cross lands on a sixpence, like he is aiming for the recipient.
"Too many times you see people cross and aim for an area or zone in the box, but De Bruyne has got the quality and precision to pick people out.
"David Beckham was like that, it's brilliant to watch. De Bruyne's performance was a polar opposite to the lack of quality Liverpool had in the final third.
"De Bruyne's pass for [Sergio] Aguero's opener and the cross to [Gabriel] Jesus for City's second ensured it was going to be a comfortable second half for Manchester City."
Since joining City for £55 million from Wolfsburg, former Chelsea star De Bruyne has provided 29 assists for grateful team-mates – with only Tottenham's Christian Eriksen (30) topping that total.