Kevin De Bruyne ‘never expected’ Manchester City to achieve such prolonged success

De Bruyne will won a sixth Premier League title if Man City defeat West Ham this weekend.  (PA)
De Bruyne will won a sixth Premier League title if Man City defeat West Ham this weekend. (PA)

Kevin de Bruyne said Manchester City have surpassed his wildest expectations when he arrived and insisted this season has been “incredible”, whether or not they win the Premier League.

The Belgian is on the brink of a sixth Premier League title in seven seasons as City only need to beat West Ham at home on Sunday to become the first team to become champions of England in four consecutive years.

De Bruyne, who joined from Wolfsburg in 2015, was part of a side who finished fourth in his first season and then third in Pep Guardiola’s debut campaign before their surge to annual honours.

And he said: “When I came here, it was a very different team – a team full of legends who won before and an older team. In Pep’s first season, a lot of people were in their 30s so we needed a rebuild and I was probably one of the first pieces at the time. I would have never expected to win five titles or all the things we have done. It’s been pretty incredible.”

De Bruyne believes Erling Haaland’s achievements this season have been overshadowed by his prolific form last year. (AFP via Getty Images)

City did the treble last season and could do a double this year, with the FA Cup final against Manchester United to follow next Saturday and De Bruyne feels it has been a remarkable campaign, whatever happens from now.

He explained: “People always talk about trophies, but we work for 11 months to get to this situation and if you don’t enjoy it along the way, what does it really mean? That one game – if we win or don’t win, it’s not going to change how I feel how well we did this season. I know there’s a lot of talk afterwards but the way I see it is that this team has done incredible after the successes we’ve had in the last few years.”

De Bruyne missed five months of the campaign but has been delighted with his performances since returning, adding: “I’m very happy with the season I’ve had after coming back from such a big injury.”

The City vice-captain set up Erling Haaland’s first goal in Tuesday’s crucial 2-0 win at Tottenham and he feels that the Norwegian has been underappreciated this season because of the standards he set last year, when he scored 52 times in all competitions.

He said: “When he had the season he had last year and the numbers were so incredible and ridiculous. When you have a season where it’s a little bit less and people don’t appreciate what you’ve done. He’s now on 27 [league] goals and probably going to win the Golden Boot again. It’s incredible. He’s been amazing again and he’ll always do what he does.”