Manchester City have already made a silently efficient start to the season, but in a weird way, their understated 2-0 win over Burnley on Saturday could turn out to be more pivotal than meets the eye.

On an afternoon where Mohamed Salah was hailed as 'the best player in the world', Kevin De Bruyne announced his return to the fold for Pep Guardiola's side.

The Belgian's gradual return to prominence for City has been overshadowed by the focus on their lack of a number nine.

But De Bruyne's trademark finish to wrap up the points against the Clarets emphasised that City's main man is well and truly back.

And that spells bad news for City's title rivals at the summit of the Premier League.

Kevin De Bruyne looked back to his best during Manchester City's 2-0 win over Burnley (


Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

The midfielder's fine first-time finish is his second goal in as many games after finding the net in City's 2-2 draw with Liverpool last month - on an afternoon where Salah again stole the show with his stupendous solo strike.

The Egyptian dominated this weekend's headlines after his moment of magic at Watford left Reds boss Jurgen Klopp purring.

"Top. Come on, we all see it, who’s better than him in this moment?" said Klopp when quizzed on whether he felt Salah is the best in the world.

"That’s clear, there’s always this discussion and all these kinds of things.

"But we don’t have to talk about what [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi did for world football or how long they were really in the dominant.

"In the moment I think it’s clear there’s nobody better than him. How it is, it’s not only since yesterday, he’s been in that shape for a while.

"He’s young enough to keep the shape a little bit longer."

But despite Klopp's appraisal, De Bruyne's silent resurgence after a difficult summer means it's impossible to discuss English football's finest player without mentioning City's magician.

After all, we are talking about the man who's been crowned the PFA Player of the Year for the last two years running.

De Bruyne has been, and very much remains, City's main man. And it's hard to think of many who have eclipsed his performances in the Premier League over the past couple of years.

There's definitely an argument that Salah's consistency for Liverpool has been on a par with De Bruyne's brilliance at the Etihad.

It would be harsh, though, to say that one has outdone the other. But it definitely feels as De Bruyne has become an afterthought in the argument to determine the Premier League's top star.

Maybe that's understandable based on the season so far.

Salah's sensational scoring run has inevitably stolen the spotlight, with his strike at Watford meaning the attacker has now netted in eight consecutive games.

And even with all of Salah's brilliance, De Bruyne has been overshadowed by proceedings even closer to home.

HAVE YOUR SAY! Who do you think is the better player - De Bruyne or Salah? Comment below

Mohamed Salah was dubbed 'the best player in the world' after another magical goal on Saturday (


John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Much of the focus around City has centered around Jack Grealish's record-breaking £100million move and, more recently, speculation over Raheem Sterling's future.

But De Bruyne has the perfect opportunity to stake his claim for the moniker of the World's best player when City resume their European campaign on Tuesday night.

A trip to De Bruyne's homeland of Belgium, where City tackle Club Brugge, gives the midfielder the chance to continue both his and City's bid for Champions League redemption after Chelsea gave them the Blues back in May's final.

City's hopes of another crack at European glory took a blow following defeat to Paris Saint-Germain last month.

So bouncing back against Brugge is imperative if this is the year that Guardiola's side are to break their agonising Champions League duck.

It seems nailed on that De Bruyne will avoid Guardiola's infamous selection roulette and start that crunch clash.

And striking the jackpot in Europe can help nudge the Belgian into a league of his own when it comes to stepping up to claim the mantle of the world's best player.

The famous jug-eared trophy is the one prize that has eluded De Bruyne and City during Guardiola's reign.

If anyone can steer Guardiola's side to glory, even with their striking struggles, then it's De Bruyne.

And if he can manage it, then he would surely catapult himself to the very top of the game as the dominance of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi gradually fades to black.

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