After Kevin de Bruyne was overlooked for the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year award, Man City manager, Pep Guardiola, was quick to praise the midfielder.
The Belgian lost out in the voting to Liverpool captain, Jordan Henderson, despite enjoying one of his best season’s to date at the Etihad Stadium.
Whilst it’s understandable that Henderson will have been in the running, simply because he helped drive Liverpool on to a maiden Premier League title, De Bruyne – with 11 goals and 19 assists in 2019/20 per transfermarkt – must be wondering what he has to do to be recognised.
“Congratulations to the captain of Liverpool. He’s a really good player,” Guardiola is quoted as saying by the Daily Star.
“I think he (De Bruyne) speaks for himself in terms of what he gives to our team and the Premier League. It’s not necessary to say how important he is and what a fantastic player he is.
“He enjoys making assists. He’d love not to score millions of goals, he makes assists, but he’s taken penalties and free kicks and taken responsibility to score goals – which is the most important thing.
“Not just this season, the numbers, not just this season, the way he’s played has been incredible. I’ll never forget how he played in this incredible milestone (season).”
At least Guardiola can be safe in the knowledge that De Bruyne is going nowhere thanks to the successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after UEFA had banned City from the Champions League for the next two seasons because of alleged FFP breaches.
Had that decision been upheld, it’s highly likely the midfielder would’ve sought pastures new.
With the motivation to knock Liverpool from their perch, expect De Bruyne to pull the strings for the Citizens again next season.
He might even do enough to win the FWA award in 12 month’s time.