KEVIN DE BRUYNE: IS HE THE BEST MIDFIELDER IN THE WORLD. YES.
It is no surprise to many that Manchester City are running away with the league and it is also no surprise that Kevin de Bruyne is their standout star. Since signing for the blue side of Manchester in 2015, he has consistently performed and been allowed free roam of the pitch.
A lot was said about the price of De Bruyne when he signed but now, the price tag of £55 million looks like pennies when you consider the performance’s he has put in. He has won two Premier League’s, an FA Cup, four League Cups and a Community Shield. Individually, he has been voted as Manchester City’s player of the season on three separate occasions. He is renowned as one of the most creative and consistent midfielders in the league, perhaps even the world. Despite not being the main goal-scorer for City, he is clearly their talisman.
At only 29-years-old, it is likely that De Bruyne will use his intelligence to adapt his style of play as he ages. Luckily, the Belgian has never relied wholly on pace, he relies more heavily on his understanding of the game and his vision. Many have tried to mark De Bruyne out of the games and, arguably, only one has succeeded: N’Golo Kante. This is down to De Bruyne’s incredible understanding of the game.
Even though City are clear favourites for the league, De Bruyne has his own personal goals he wants to achieve. Just recently, De Bruyne entered the top 10 on the Premier League assist chart and has made it no secret that he intends to capture former Belgian’s national team assistant, Thierry Henry’s, record. This is not entirely out of the realm of possibility, as it is unlikely that De Bruyne would ever leave a club that provides success on a consistent basis and where he is adored and admired so much.
Arguably, De Bruyne is the profile of the perfect modern attacking midfielder. He creates chances, takes accurate long-range shots, assists his teammates and has a rocket of a right foot. His deliveries are undefendable, his teammates know exactly where to place themselves in order to convert his crosses into goals. Despite his right-foot undeniably being his strength, he has a weak foot that many players could only dream of possessing.
Many have labelled De Bruyne a hybrid, able to play both the role of a 10 and an 8 at the same time, in the same game. Pep Guardiola has deployed him primarily as a central midfielder in a two, where his technical ability can shine and allows him to dominate the game. This clearly works, as City won two Premier League titles in a row whilst deploying this system.
This season he has 3 goals and 15 assists in all competitions, and that is after spending a significant portion of the season so far side lined through injury. With plenty of time left in the season, De Bruyne will have plenty of opportunity to show the world why he is the best midfielder in the league, perhaps even the world.