Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is the Premier League’s best ever passer, according to Jamie Redknapp.
De Bruyne has earned plenty of plaudits for his playmaking ability since joining Manchester City and was on course to break the Premier League assists record this season before the campaign was suspended.
Is De Bruyne a POTY contender? Five things to know…
- Liverpool have run away with the title this term, making it likely that the Player of the Year accolades will travel to Anfield.
- However, De Bruyne has been a creative force once again for second-placed Man City.
- The 28-year-old has registered 16 Premier League assists this season, at least four more than any other player.
- He has also scored eight times, including a Goal of the Season contender against Newcastle United.
- But Virgil van Dijk and Jordan Henderson are perhaps more likely winners of this season’s POTY awards.
With Liverpool set to win the title if English football resumes, it’s likely De Bruyne will miss out on individual honours to a Liverpool player this term.
But Redknapp was eager to heap praise on the Belgian when discussing Player of the Year contenders on a recent edition of the Sky Sports Football Podcast.
Redknapp suggested that De Bruyne’s previous role as a wide player has helped him become the Premier League’s best passer.
“His weight of pass is absolutely phenomenal,” Redknapp said.
“The amount of times he picks it up in that little pocket where the right-back will set it back to him, and he hits the ball first time in between that corridor of uncertainty, between the defence and the goalkeeper – it’s just so inviting for the likes of Sergio Aguero, [Gabriel] Jesus or Raheem Sterling.
“His pass appreciation and his weight of pass are as a good as anybody I’ve seen. I would say he’s the best Premier League passer of the ball I’ve seen, even [better than David] Beckham, [Paul] Scholes, all of them, because he has the variation of passes.
“Beckham was the best crosser of the ball I’ve seen, but I think from a central area where he (De Bruyne) just slides those passes in – you think at times ‘how has he seen that?'”
Redknapp added: “It’s like time stands still when he has the ball. He always has that extra moment of relaxation when everyone around him is panicking, and I think that’s what sets him apart.”
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Redknapp: Henderson and De Bruyne would complement each other well
Redknapp went on to acknowledge that it is difficult to compare De Bruyne with another player of the season contender, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, but suggested the two would work well together.
“Totally different players,” Redknapp said. “They would really compliment each other well because Jordan has done such a great job at knowing his job. He knows his limitations, he’s the perfect team player.
“When he gets it he’s got a front three of [Sadio] Mane, [Roberto] Firmino and [Mohamed] Salah and his first thought is ‘can I get it up to them as quickly as possible? Can I win the ball back? How quickly can I win it back? And if I can, let’s play the ball forward’.
“He’s really won the Liverpool fans over. He’s a leader, the players absolutely respect him and I think he’s scored some important goals for this Liverpool side.”