Peerless De Bruyne to carry Man City to new heights

Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin de Bruyne could make a little bit of Premier League history this weekend as he sets himself up for a career-defining season for Man City.

Having seen his 2018/19 campaign ruined by injuries, those with short memories might have forgotten just how good the 28-year-old is.

But even in a City team packed full of talent, there can be few doubts about who has been the standout performer for the defending champions in the early stages of the season.

De Bruyne has already registered five assists and one goal in domestic action and could join the legendary Thierry Henry on a Premier League pedestal if he provides another goal at Norwich City on Saturday.

Henry is the only player in the Premier League era to register an assist in five consecutive games, while he also holds the record for most assists in the opening five games of a top flight campaign having seven to his name in the 2004/05 season.

It might not be the first of Henry’s landmarks from his Arsenal career to go this season with the Frenchman holding the record for assists in a season, which currently stands at 20, firmly in De Bruyne’s sights.

Should De Bruyne equal or even surpass those landmarks it would be a fitting recognition for a player who has taken his game to new heights.

While City hardly missed the playmaker last year as they wrapped up an unprecedented domestic treble, there is an argument to be made that De Bruyne could be the missing piece in the puzzle that is European success.

Despite the supporters’ reluctance to embrace the competition, the Champions League is the be all and end all for those behind the scenes at the Etihad Stadium and they’ll be desperate for someone to carry them over the line.

De Bruyne has shown he may be the man to shoulder that responsibility having made himself undroppable so far this season.
Stats gurus Opta can’t keep up with De Bruyne’s achievements through the first month of the campaign after becoming the quickest player to reach 50 assists in the Premier League, needing just 125 games to reach the landmark.

He’s also created more chances (13) than anyone else through the first four matches of the Premier League and City will feel unfortunate they don’t have maximum points to show from those efforts based on his form.

Even when switching from sky blue to the red of Belgium there is no slowing down De Bruyne as he helped the Red Devils destroy Scotland in Monday’s Euro 2020 qualifier.

The former Wolfsburg man became the first play to rack up three assists in a Euro 2020 qualifier, while he also chipped in with the last goal of a 4-0 demolition.

Although not the only questionable transfer decision Jose Mourinho has made, it still seems bizarre that Chelsea let a player like De Bruyne leave for just £18million.

He has blossomed into the best midfielder in the Premier League and an early candidate for all the end-of-season awards.

Next stop on the De Bruyne express is Carrow Road with another demonstration of his attacking talents likely to prove too much for the Canaries. However, they won’t be alone in finding the revitalised City talisman too hot to handle this season as he bids to cement his legacy on the blue side of Manchester.