Kevin De Bruyne has found "an extra gear", but Pep Guardiola has warned him he will have to do something sepcial to match Bernardo Silva.
The 27-year-old Belgian was back to something like his best in the 5-0 FA Cup win over Burnley on Saturday after an injury-hit season so far.
He admitted he was happy with his performance after a goal and an assist, telling the club's website: “To be fair, Saturday was the first time I felt really fresh and much sharper.
“The other games I played recently were alright, but I felt I had an extra gear for the first time this season.
“Obviously, I’m playing more and more and I starting to get into a rhythm so I’m really happy about that.
“I’m just trying to get as fresh as possible and if I’m honest, I didn’t expect to play as long as I did against Burnley, but I did and I came off feeling great, so I trust in the people around me as I haven’t had many injuries in my career and they obviously know a lot more about recovery and a workable schedule for me.”
While Guardiola was delighted with De Bruyne's display, he knows he has a wealth of midfield riches with Bernardo, the man who benefitted most from the former Chelsea man's lengthy absence, arguably City's best performer of late.
Of course, the two can play together - as they did against Burnley - but the City boss is happy to let De Bruyne know he has options.
"[It gives me] a lot of encouragement," said Guardiola of his efforts against Burnley.
"But Kevin knows his position went to Bernardo Silva and Bernardo Silva was one of the best players we had this season in our team.
"He's consistent, offensively and defensively, his production of assists, his personality, everything.
"I repeat many times - this is the only way if you have four competitions, in this league, with these weather conditions, with this physicality, every three days, no rest, mentally, physically. We need them.
"We need Kevin to come back, Benjamin [Mendy] to come back, everybody and after that we decide."
Second-placed City return to Premier League action at Newcastle, who sit one place above the relegation zone, on Wednesday night.