Why Man City will thrive with Kevin de Bruyne in a central role

Manchester City fans got an exciting preview of Kevin de Bruynes talents as Belgium took another stride towards Euro 2016.

And the 54.5m buy showed again why Manuel Pellegrini is considering him for the number ten role at City, a role in which David Silva has been brilliant this season.

Our suggestion that de Bruyne might play in that central role, and Silva be moved out to the right flank, drew howls of anguish from some fans.

The prospect of moving the Blues best player to accommodate an untried new boy was almost blasphemy, gauging the reaction on social media.

Both men have been playing central roles for their clubs and wider one for their countries

But the way de Bruyne played for Wolfsburg as a central, attacking midfielder, and coming inside from the right for Belgium this week, showed exactly why he may take that role.

David Silva was Spain's man of the match against SlovakiaDavid Silva was Spain’s man of the match against Slovakia

And the way Silva was man of the match for Spain, running the show while playing in a right-sided role gave further proof that it would work.

De Bruyne made one goal, for Marouane Fellaini, as Belgium beat Bosnia-Herzegovina, but it was the one he scored that showed what he would bring to City in a central role, tucked in behind Sergio Aguero.

His movement was so simple it was subtle. He dropped off no more than three yards to find space in front of a deep-lying Bosnian defence, and took a short pass from Fellaini.

Instinct took over, and before the defenders could react, he turned and thrashed a shot into the far corner from 25 yards.

It was added proof that, more so than Silva, de Bruyne scores goals as well as making them.

David Silva turned the game against WatfordDavid Silva turned the game against Watford

And those who think shifting Silva from that position is sacrilege, should remember that he has played most of his scintillating career for City and Spain, playing to the left or right.

He played wide for Spain at the weekend, and found an extra yard in which to work his magic, delivering a gorgeous 40-yard crossfield pass onto the head of Jordi Alba for the opening goal.

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And in his last game for City, the Blues were finding it hard to break down Watford, until Silva switched from the middle to the right, from where he engineered both goals.

De Bruyne has flourished in that central role for Wolfsburg, and in the eyes of that countrys football fans, he is above Chelseas brilliant Eden Hazard.

Eden HazardEden Hazard

The stats show why that is the case. In his last 21 matches for his country, de Bruyne has delivered a decisive moment a goal or assist every 109 minutes. Silva prefers passing to shooting, so it is the ideal solution.

. Hazard has managed one every 209 minutes, in his last 20 matches.

With Citys fluid style, as players flit about, starting position is almost incidental, but de Bruyne thrives on being central, and getting a sight of goal

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