Haaland has helped De Bruyne reach new level: Toure
Kolo Toure says Wednesday's latest man-of-the-match display from Kevin De Bruyne in Manchester City's 4-1 win over Arsenal was further proof positive of how Erling Haaland has helped elevate the midfielder's game to even greater heights.
Another De Bruyne masterclass saw the midfielder fire home a brace of goals as well as providing the assist for John Stones' headed goal as City swept the Premier League leaders aside in emphatic fashion at the Etihad.
One of the hallmarks of our success so far this season has been the almost telepathic understanding between De Bruyne and Haaland, following the striker's move to City from Borussia Dortmund last summer.
That potent partnership was illustrated again on Wednesday, this time with the roles reversed, as Haaland supplied two sublime assists for De Bruyne to apply the finish.
Former City and Gunners defender Kolo Toure, who was a special guest on Wednesday's latest Matchday Live show, hailed De Bruyne as the best midfielder in the world, in the wake of Wednesday's wonder show.
And he says the arrival of Haaland has provided an even greater licence for the Belgian to demonstrate the outstanding talent and quality that has been the hallmark of his eight years at the Club.
"Right now, Kevin De Bruyne is the best midfielder in the world in my opinion," Toure declared.
"Technically and tactically, he is outstanding and his vision in playing with Erling Haaland has only increased the level of his game.
"Every time Kevin has the ball, he looks for him. Haaland makes runs all the time into space.
"And because people are so focused on Haaland it opens up games for Kevin and that was what happened on Wednesday.
"People are so frightened when Haaland is running. The centre-backs chase him, and it opens up a big space and Kevin can exploit that.
"He has been fantastic this season and I think Pep Guardiola is managing him so very well.
"This season you can see he is fresh; he doesn't get injured as when we are winning 3-0 or 4-0 they can rest him.
"It really is fantastic management from Pep."
Touré's admiration was echoed by fellow Matchday Live special guest Paul Dickov, who hailed City's display as one of the best he had witnessed.
And the former City and Arsenal forward believes it was a demonstration of the levels and quality required to be successful at the very highest level.
"We've said it before, but these players know how to win and that, for me, was one of the best performances I've seen from City for a long, long time," Dickov asserted.
"Considering the build-up to the game, considering the team they were playing against... the manner of the win was magnificent.
"And I think they have set a real marker once again to everybody else to say this is the level you need to get to.
"I don't think Arsenal were that bad. I just think that City were that good and didn't allow Arsenal to play.
"From Ederson onwards everyone throughout the whole team was at it.
"You also look at the bench and you are bringing on Riyad Mahrez, who had just scored a hat-trick in an FA Cup semi-final at the weekend, you've got Phil Foden, Julian Alvarez a World Cup winner, you've still got Aymeric Laporte on the bench.
"You can turn round and say Arsenal didn't play that well, but I think that is a little disrespectful to them - it's just that City were so good.
"They could have played anybody out there on Wednesday and they would have blown them away."