'Man City have Europe's best squad and manager' - Guardiola & De Bruyne praised by club legend

Manchester City have “the best squad and the best manager in Europe”, according to club legend Tony Book, who says Champions League glory is “only a matter of time”.

Pep Guardiola’s debut campaign at the Etihad Stadium saw him end a season without major silverware for the first time in his distinguished coaching career.

While that failure may have come as a surprise to many, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich has set about righting those wrongs in some style.

City have already landed the Carabao Cup, are one win away from the Premier League title and still have an historic European prize in their sights.

Former player and boss Book, who tasted European Cup Winners’ Cup glory back in 1970, believes a star-studded squad will deliver more honours, telling The Mirror: “The one thing my team achieved that this current team must have is success in Europe and I think it's only a matter of time before Pep delivers another European trophy.

“It's going to be a tough two games against Liverpool, but I think City will go though because I look at the strength of both teams and I have absolutely no doubt that Pep has the best squad.

"In fact, I'd go as far as to say that City now have the best squad and the best manager in Europe. I think that they have even more quality in depth than both Barcelona and Real Madrid. I feel that City can go anywhere and win."

Among the stars Guardiola currently has at his disposal is Belgian playmaker Kevin De Bruyne.

A man with 11 goals to his name this season, and 15 Premier League assists, is a leading contender to sweep up the top individual prizes in 2017-18, with Book backing the 26-year-old to become City’s first Footballer of the Year since he was honoured in 1969.

The Blues icon added: “Kevin has been the player of the season – just because of his unbelievable consistency. His performances this season have been outstanding, in a team that has been the best in the Premier League by some distance.

Kevin De Bruyne THE man Tony Book

“His creativity and his goals are going to help City win the title.

“Kevin seems to be a step ahead of every other player on the pitch. He sees things before everybody else – and he delivers. Not only that, but he delivers in every game, including the biggest games.

“Comparisons between eras are very difficult because the game has moved on so much since my day. But when I see De Bruyne moving so gracefully through the midfield it does bring back memories of Colin Bell. He has got that same effortless way of running and, like Colin, he is a complete midfielder.

“And that's what I like about De Bruyne so much — yes, he can do all the brilliant things. He can score goals, he can create goals. He can pick out a pass that only he can see. But he also does the dirty work defensively.

“He is a real team player and Pep's system is so reliant on every player doing that side of the game.

“City are not a one-man team. They have been brilliant from 1 to 11 this season – but De Bruyne has been THE man.”