Gary Neville believes Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is as good a crosser of a ball as David Beckham.
Belgium international De Bruyne, who is capable of whipping in balls with supreme accuracy, was ‘unplayable’ according to ex-Manchester United defender Neville during Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham in the Premier League.
And Neville admitted he was ‘mesmerized’ by the former Chelsea star’s latest display, and believes he is up there with his former team-mate Beckham, considered by many as one of the greatest crossers ever, and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard.
“I like watching tactical games, close games, I have never really got overawed by watching an individual but De Bruyne mesmerizes me,” Neville said during Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football show.
“He is the type of player that is so good, he is world-class, and for the first hour on Saturday it was stunning.
“His positions are always good. David Beckham and Steven Gerrard are two of the best crossers I have seen on the right side in the Premier League. He matches them in terms of the quality he delivers – and that is high praise. He does things that they did just as well.”
Neville also analyzed the 28-year-old’s display and was impressed with his intelligence and movement.
Dropping deep to assist Raheem Sterling’s opener before racing forward for Sergio Aguero to score the second, De Bruyne’s ability to mix his play up caught the eye.
“On the first goal he drops back and then you are talking about the quality of the delivery and it is so special,” said Neville.
“The second goal is slightly different. He has got people covering the drop back so he goes the other way. He is intelligent and the timing of his movement is perfect. You are never in doubt that his cross is going to go exactly where he should do.
“For about an hour on Saturday he was unplayable and it took me back to playing with the best crosser of the ball I played with – David Beckham.
“Teams ordinarily tucked in narrow and tight but that tactic never worked against Manchester United. You had to get out and close him down and make sure he couldn’t get the ball out of his feet. Even from deep positions, the crossing was out of this world.
“De Bruyne is repeating the level of quality and precision from that inside right channel that Beckham produced for United and that is not something I would see again in the Premier League for a long time.”
Manchester City is next in action when they travel to Bournemouth in the Premier League on Sunday.