Another day and another fabulous performance by Kevin De Bruyne. When Pep Guardiola himself says that you are the next best thing to Lionel Messi, you know that you have made it. Kevin De Bruyne has been one of Europe’s top assist man for a few years now, ever since his days with Wolfsburg in Germany.
After a forgettable stint at Chelsea, Kevin De Bruyne found his bearings with VFL Volfsburg an has taken it to a new level with Manchester City. In his first two seasons here, the Belgian has easily been there best player. In a time comprising of Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Yaya Toure, that is not an easy feat. But what marks De Bruyne out is his ability to not just make others around him better but do it with a simplicity that is very easy on the eye. It almost seems like he is gliding through the game, never pushing to the final gear. De Bruyne is always n control, running the game and maintaining the tempo.
His natural position is that of a winger or a traditional number 10, but lately he has been deployed as false nine or a supporting striker by Pep. And one can see why. Not only is De Bruyne adept at finding his teammates, he can also shoot the ball. No goal is safe when he has the ball, be it 10, 20, 30 or even 40 yards. With Dead eye precision and a very sharp mind, De Bruyne cannot be left open whenever he has the ball.
The former Wolfsburg man has overtaken all other players in the league at the moment, and looks poised to become one of the world’s best very soon if he can stay healthy. Just a handful of players like Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Eden Hazard and maybe Phillipe Coutinho can challenge his title as the Premier League’s best player. But what marks him out as so special is his ability to adapt to any system and make it better. He has a unique skill set and does not seem to have any weaknesses in his game.
De Bruyne is two footed, equally comfortable on either foot, can make any pass, long or short, and has excellent vision. He possesses a terrific football mind, very fast and intelligent on the ball, out thinking and out playing his opposition, and yet looks ever so elegant on the pitch.
There were question marks as to where he would fit in with City, but he answered all those critics by laying down the highest number of assists last season and again leading the charts this season. He is deceptively quick, and is dangerous whether he is running the counter attack or breaking down dogged defenses.
Even with his National Team, he is no longer in the shadow of Eden Hazard and commands equal respect if not more. With both players having different styles of play and complimenting each other well, Belgium look set to be at the top for many years to come.
In recent times, De Bruyne has clearly been the better player, with his passing, shooting and exquisite dribbling skills and close control. He does not take on too many defenders or dribble past opponents, but that is not far a lack of ability, but in fact for the availability of better options. KDB has an otherworldly ability to find his teammates with his passes, and makes the game that much more faster and simpler for everyone. With free kicks also in his repertoire, it’s hard to look past him as the best player in the EPL at the moment.
Photo by theglobalpanorama