It’s impossible to write an article highlighting Kevin De Bruyne’s (£5.9m) brilliance without rehashing old epithets.
The Belgian has been sensational since the day he joined Man City and seven seasons down the line he’s built a legacy that will ensure he’s remembered as one of the best midfielders of his generation.
And there’s plenty more magic to come.
In 2017/18, when Pep Guardiola’s side broke new ground by achieving 100 points in the Premier League, De Bruyne scored a beautiful long-range goal midway through the second half against Chelsea with his left foot in a 1-0 win.
On Saturday, the strawberry-blonde playmaker repeated himself, only this time he provided the finish with his right foot in front of his home fans.
And that’s the thing about De Bruyne, he is so well-equipped to deal a devastating blow that, as an opponent, you can’t over-commit to any possible method of nullification.
As a defender, you know he is equally capable of surging past you, providing a delicately-weighted throughball, whipping a fizzing cross, or unleashing a thunderous shot – all possible from either foot.
Generally he is thought of as specialist playmaker, and in 2019/20 he equalled Thierry Henry’s long-standing record (20) of most assists in a Premier League season.
Because of this reputation, his goalscoring prowess is sometimes overlooked.
His approximate strike rate of one goal in every four appearances is not to be underestimated considering he averages 44 games per season for City.
Add in his mountainous tally of league assists (79) and De Bruyne averages a goal involvement every 116 minutes in England’s top flight since signing for City in 2015.
In essence, he’s a player who ticks the boxes of both style and substance.
Naturally, this combination has made him a popular and effective Dream Team asset in recent years.
Having pouched 13 points on Saturday – he was named Star Man at the Etihad – the 30-year-old has racked up 52 points in his last seven outings.
Bruno Fernandes (£5.0m) may have bagged a brace against Aston Villa but given the disparity between the two Manchester clubs right now, De Bruyne is surely the premium midfielder of choice going forward?
With an ownership of 19% he’s already the fifth-most selected player in his position but his current form should propel him into the top three so long as enough Dream Team bosses have kept some transfers back for the second half of January.
City face Southampton this weekend and then return from the international break to a favourable run of Fulham, Brentford and Norwich – points galore for Guardiola’s men, right?
The best compliment you can pay De Bruyne is that even among an expensive squad packed deep with superstars, he is still a standout player who seems capable of unrivalled majesty.
As a Dream Team gaffer, he’s increasingly impossible to resist once more.