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The Kevin De Bruyne change at Man City spotted by his former coach

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Kevin De Bruyne has become even better at Manchester City this season, according to his former coach.

Dieter Hecking was Wolfsburg manager when a 22-year-old De Bruyne arrived from Chelsea eager to start playing regular football and put his time under Jose Mourinho behind him.

The playmaker did not take long to make an impact, and in his only full season for the club notched a record number of Bundesliga assist that propelled the club to a runners-up spot and earned him a move to the Etihad.

De Bruyne needed little time to readjust to the Premier League and, as former teammate Ivica Olic noted, has been one of the best midfielders in the world for several years now.

If the assist record has remained remarkable, there has been improvement elsewhere under Pep Guardiola as the star has matured.

One of the most pleasing things to see for Hecking has been the way De Bruyne has stepped up as a leader on the pitch in recent weeks. The 28-year-old has taken on more responsibilities since Vincent Kompany left and also stepped up for penalty duties after misses from several teammates, culminating in a formidable performance at the Bernabeu where he scored a penalty and brilliantly created another goal to help the Blues record a milestone Champions League win over Real Madrid.

“It was important that we tried to gain his trust and get into conversation with him, as he was very introverted and reserved at the time,” Hecking told M.E.N Sport. “In general, the word of a footballer with such qualities usually carries a lot of weight in a team, but Kevin didn’t want that for a long time. He just wanted to play football.

“We tried to help and encourage him to take a leading role. That’s why I was very happy to see Kevin wearing the captain’s armband at Manchester City in the last games. He seems to be taking on more responsibility there as well.”

Having been in contention for the role 12 months ago, De Bruyne is in line to become permanent captain of the club next season with David Silva out of contract and expected to leave. In what has been a difficult year for the club on and off the pitch, the Belgian has already stepped up to increase his influence.

“I’m never going to be someone like Vinny he has grown up to be that way since a young player but I have taken on more responsibility, tried to speak in a way for the team that is good and positive even with everything that is going on,” he told The Athletic last month. “People trust me so I’ve done quite well.”

Source: Manchester Evening News

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