Kevin De Bruyne has risen to the top of the soccer world thanks to his passion for the game and willingness to play whatever position he is asked to.
Kevin De Bruyne’s journey to the top had stops in all sorts of places.
This season is where De Bruyne has stepped into the spotlight as the workhorse for Guardiola’s side. He has played in 28 of City’s matches, scoring seven goals and assisting 12 more in all competitions (he also leads the EPL with nine assists).
De Bruyne’s attributes on the field are probably the most fun thing to discuss because this guy is a machine. When you design a player on career mode in the FIFA video games he’s basically what you’re looking for. Nobody can cross the ball harder and more accurately than him, as shown in this video.
Inch. Perfect. Cross.— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 17, 2017
Turn the floodlights off and Kevin De Bruyne would still find you with a cross 👏 pic.twitter.com/iEk8pC7Pkg
He also hits cross field passes that rival those only of the GOAT, Lionel Messi, and can hit screamers that will leave you stunned for eternity.
What A Goal From De Bruyne⚽️ pic.twitter.com/4WV5hqjgP0— Cardiff United (@CardiffUnitedFC) November 18, 2017
Again, these are the kinds of things De Bruyne has been able to create and pull out of seemingly nowhere, even when it appears City are going to drop points. To best illustrate De Bruyne’s impact for City, here is a chart that shows the average rating out of 10 for every Manchester City player this campaign. This table highlights not only how valuable he is to them, but also the statistical categories that he really stands out. It’s noteworthy that he has played the most minutes of any outfield player, second to only goalkeeper Ederson, which shows his resilience. Particularly when he is the victim of some horrific tackles — like this one from Jason Puncheon of Crystal Palace — it’s amazing he hasn’t missed a league match yet.
This is something Guardiola noticed and was quoted in an article on the UK news site, The Independent, praising De Bruyne for. He said, “With the ball he is in different positions and can assist short and long. After, without the ball, he’s the most humble, the most shy guy. He says ‘if I have to run 100km for the team, I will do that.’ It’s not easy to find that with this type of talent. Everyone feels comfortable with him on the pitch.”
That is critical for a Guardiola team because the style that they play requires intelligence and maturity to focus on build up play rather than directness and a selfless determination to win the ball back. This is exactly what De Bruyne has exhibited as he has come into form under Guardiola at an ideal time. Guardiola has found himself another quality player he can maneuver into any position and a player who is willing to do so. De Bruyne’s versatility also gives Guardiola a chance to mix and match down the stretch when it comes to crunch time in other tournaments such as the FA Cup or Champions League.
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- Borussia Dortmund