The Premier League title race has been customarily electrifying this year, even with Pep Guardiola’s Man City ascertaining authority considerably early, mesmerising the whole world with their finest of football designedly in the process.
Be that as it may, the Premier League fanatics have been intriguingly pondering and debating over different material this season – as to who amongst Kevin de Bruyne and Mohamed Salah is candidly the utmost worthy of claiming the Player of the Season trophy.
The duo has been exhibiting devastating performances this campaign, rendering it remarkably difficult to discern who would go on to enjoy placing the silverware on their mantlepiece. The Belgian’s rise under Pep Guardiola has been exceptional, subsequently enrolling on a different level this season. His achievements for the Sky Blues have been prominent, earning him the title of the best player in the best team amongst supporters this term.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian, likewise, has had a memorable year setting his foot zealously into the Reds’ lineup, swiftly stabilizing himself as a chief wheel in Liverpool’s offensive line. Jurgen Klopp’s priceless asset returned to England the previous term after leaving Chelsea a few years back, and has already transitioned into a solid fan-favourite.
Regardless, with the season having progressed deep into its second half, the following are a few features to judge the supremacy of either figure, well taking into account the impressions they’ve left behind on their respective sides.
Although offensive players are anticipated to have governing power over facets other than striking goals in the modern day football, they’re often critically assessed on the sound basis of their goal tally. Unquestionably, Klopp’s right winger claims the upper hand over the Mancunian in the scoring department, given their particular positions.
Kevin De Bruyne: 11 goals in 39 appearances
Mohamed Salah: 30 goals in 36 appearances
While the Egypt international has been driving the Reds primarily by netting goals, the Belgian excels in terms of chances created and assists produced. The playmaker has created 84 chances this campaign – the most in the top flight, and 40 more than his rival. With regard to assists, the midfield maestro has 18 where his Liverpool competitor has just 8 to his name in all competitions.
Going solely by numbers seems to be problematical owing to the fact that either player has different roles compared to each other. Nevertheless, the former Chelsea duo is producing what their clubs expect them to, evident from the metric.
Impact On Their Teams
Guardiola fancies his team to circulate the ball swiftly and apply solid and constant pressure, and needs players thinking ahead to the next move when they’re passing. De Bruyne is a quick thinker, and has the technical ability to do what he wants with the ball, which consequently makes him the best-suited playmaker for the gaffer’s ideal team.
He not only perceives what to do, but comes up with neat execution too. The ex-Wolfsburg attacker understands where the likes of Sergio Aguero want the ball and he places it there, elegantly angling with his heels.
It’s clear that the Spanish tactician made him a better team player, apparent from the meteoric rise he savoured under the prolific gaffer. His passing accuracy has undergone a considerable rise and, with the team having studied the system well, the creative midfielder has been able to move into voids of space more easily.
The understanding of the agile players around him makes him even more ferocious, as he’s able to find them without having to look up. In Pep’s tactical game, De Bruyne is the segment which serves as the heart of all attacks.
On the other hand, Salah is a versatile forward, whose position allows him to cut into the centre onto his stronger left foot, and either shoot on goal or play quick exchanges with other players. Furthermore, the former Basel man possesses the ability to use both his pace and flair on the ball in order to beat opponents and create scoring opportunities for himself or his teammates.
As previously mentioned, the Liverpool winger contributes to his team more by marking his name on the scoresheet rather than creating chances, probably on the grounds that he’s still settling into his new team, being a recent signing.
Judgements Of Pundits
Having established their respective trademarks in the Premier League, the ex-Chelsea attacking pair has been collecting praises from various pundits. One of the experts to have recently shared his views on the Liverpool No.11 was BBC’s Garth Crooks.
The influential figure stressed that Salah is up there with a few of Liverpool’s legends, stating: “I’ve seen Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish and John Barnes generate extraordinary hysteria at Anfield, and it looks like Salah is in that class. I’m not sure who is enjoying his performances more, the player or the Liverpool fans.”
In a distinct event, Jamie Redknapp, the former Liverpool midfielder, had exposed his reasonable thoughts on De Bruyne, maintaining that the Belgian’s distribution of the football overshadows even the likes of distinguished figures like Bergkamp, Scholes, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard.
The retired professional wrote in the Daily Mail: “Dennis Bergkamp had a sublime weight of pass and was so unselfish. It’s little wonder Thierry Henry says he was the best he played with. But in Kevin De Bruyne we have a midfielder whose passing is on another level. His range is the best I have seen.”
It’s undeniably an inspiring moment for the supporters, watching two of the best attackers in the world operating in their prime form, fabricating delicate and sophisticated plays for the growth of their own as well as their respective team’s reputation. Correspondingly, on the surface, there’s no clear-cut winner amongst the couple as of now.
However, it might get simpler to determine once the season edge close to its conclusion, as the players are subjected to extreme pressure, putting their tenacity under crucial assessment. In any case, the rather quick adaptation to his new surroundings that Salah has displayed is certainly praiseworthy.