Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne has backed new recruit Leroy Sane to shine in the Premier League.
De Bruyne successfully swapped the Bundesliga for the English top flight last year, scoring 16 goals in all competitions after City paid Wolfsburg a club-record fee – reportedly £55million – for the Belgium international’s services.
Sane established himself as the star performer at Schalke last term and De Bruyne believes his own eye for an assist – he created nine Premier League goals in 2015-16 – will work well in tandem with the 20-year-old Germany attacker, whose international team-mate Ilkay Gundogan was Pep Guardiola’s first close-season recruit.
“Leroy Sane is a class player. I want him to shine with my assists,” De Bruyne told Sport Bild.
“My aim is the title. To reach this it’s important we have new players like Sane or Gundogan.”
Jose Mourinho is in place to resume his rivalry with Guardiola as manager of Manchester United and De Bruyne expects fierce competition from across town at Old Trafford, with star signings Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic whetting the appetite for the new season.
“Manchester United is strong again with Pogba and Ibrahimovic,” he said.
“Players like these help the league. But I think Chelsea and Arsenal will be strong, too.”
Liverpool could also enter the title mix in their first full season under Jurgen Klopp and De Bruyne revealed he could have played under the esteemed head coach at Borussia Dortmund in 2013 following Mario Gotze’s move to Bayern Munich.
“Klopp wanted me to replace Gotze in 2013,” he added. “He called me and said, ‘You are my number one’.”