How far can Man City’s De Bruyne go this season as perfect record continues?
Robbie Purves | September 25, 2016
How far can Man City’s De Bruyne go this season?
Kevin De Bruyne is a shining light in a stellar start to the season for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side that are chasing silverware on four fronts.
Once previously maligned by Jose Mourinho for “needing to feel important” during his time at Chelsea, the Belgium midfield maestro has truly transformed into one of the best attacking threats in world football, now drawing performance level comparisons to the game’s best.
“Messi is on his own in the table, but Kevin is in the next table and he is right up there.” said Guardiola.
With this in mind, Coral football experts ask just how far can De Bruyne take himself and Man City this season?
Guardiola guidance key to group glory
The season has barely just begun, but the Belgium star already has an astonishing six assists and two goals to his name, in a system that seems tailor-made to bring the best out of him.
Instead of being shunted out to the wing, which happened under Manuel Pellegrini in a 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2, the Sky Blues’ new look 4-1-4-1 formation (used for the majority of opening games) features perfect conditions in which De Bruyne and the attacking ensemble around him can flourish.
The new system provides room for two advanced playmakers, while Raheem Sterling and new summer signing Nolito collect chalk on their boots while out wide, spreading the out the pitch, creating space for De Bruyne to pick opponents’ defensive locks, with the the security of cultured Brazil anchorman Fernandinho sitting behind.
Guardiola’s rejuvenated City have made a blistering start to the new term, winning each of their 10 opening games, sitting four points clear at the peak of the Premier League table.
City are rightfully odds-on with Coral at 4/6 to win the title this season, but ambitious Guardiola will want to banish his Bayern Munich demons and lift the Champions League at the Etihad at a generous 10/1, considering their fantastic start.
De Bruyne earmarked for individual honours
After only one campaign under his belt at Wolfsburg, the Belgian was named Bundesliga Player of the Year on the back of recording the most assists in the division.
Now, starting his second term at the Etihad, things seem to be going in a similar direction.
De Bruyne notched two assists at the weekend in a 3-1 win over Swansea and doesn’t look to be slowing down, in fact accelerating into the rhythm of a new season.
Had it not been for the ankle and knee injuries that ruled him out for two months from January last season, City could have a mounted a serious title challenge and De Bruyne would’ve surely surpassed the phenomenal 17 goals and 16 assists he recorded.
If his form continues and recovers from his hamstring injury, the Belgian has to be considered an early front-runner for the PFA Player of the Year and a potential outside shout for the Ballon d’Or.
De Bruyne is also a hit with fantasy football players, with his industrious performances racking up a whopping 49 points, making him not only the highest scoring midfielder, but also leading player.
Europe’s leading light?
On his current form, De Bruyne could legitimately be considered Europe’s leading light after his sensational recent displays.
Guardiola has high standards and for him to say he’s the best player in the world that’s not named Lionel Messi, is praise indeed.
While at Bayern Munich, the Catalan coach reportedly attempted to sign De Bruyne to the Bavarian juggernaut and, in Manchester, has taken him to a new elite level.
With five league assists to his name this season, he is ahead of Messi (9/2 to win the Ballon d’Or this year), Neymar, Luis Suarez and almost everyone in Europe’s top four leagues, with only Franck Ribery joint top of the assist standings.
If De Bruyne keeps his superb form going, Manchester City could be in for an exciting, trophy laden season.
How far can Man City’s De Bruyne go this season? Tell us in the comments below.