Martinez hails De Bruyne potential

09 November 2017 07:40:31 EST

Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez believes that forward Kevin De Bruyne is ready to establish himself as one of the best players in the world.

Twenty-six-year-old De Bruyne has been in scintillating form for Manchester City this season, helping the Citizens pull out an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

And Martinez, who has experience of the English top-flight from his spells in charge of Wigan Athletic and Everton, has backed De Bruyne to get close to the levels of the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

He told ESPN: "Absolutely (he can get to that level).

"I think when you see the players that you mention (Messi and Ronaldo), obviously you have to become consistent with your performances in order to reach that level. That happens over the course of a few seasons.

"The level of performance that Kevin is having this season, the level of performance he had last campaign shows you that he has the potential of reaching those highs.

"There are not many players that you could say that about."

De Bruyne joined City in the summer of 2015, having starred for Wolfsburg after finding first-team opportunities limited at Chelsea.

Since his return to England, the versatile forward has scored 26 goals in 106 appearances in all competitions, although his lone piece of silverware to date with City came in the League Cup in 2016.

The Citizens are currently 1/8 to be crowned Premier League champions this season, while they are 9/2 to lift the FA Cup and 9/2 to win the Champions League for the first time in their history.

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