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The front-runners for this season’s Player of the Year award, Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne have lit up this season of the Premier League with their consistent and dazzling displays.
Since moving to Liverpool from Roma in summer, Salah has been phenomenal and a revelation under Jurgen Klopp. The Egyptian has 21 goals and 7 assists in only 25 league games for Liverpool, with 7 more goals in nine Champions League and FA Cup outings.
For the £37m that Liverpool spent to acquire his services, the winger has made the price-tag look an absolute bargain with his performances this season.
The 25-year-old has made a mockery of some of Premier League’s defences with his speed and goal-scoring abilities. Since the departure of Philippe Coutinho, Salah was crowned African Player of the Year for 2017 and has become Klopp’s main man at Liverpool.
Now shifting my focus to Kevin De Bruyne, he has been the chief architect behind Manchester City’s domination and runaway lead at the top of the Premier League.
The Belgium international, like Salah, has tormented defences with his wit, creativity and guile. What has impressed many about De Bruyne is his ability to dictate the tempo of the game with his range of passing and playmaking qualities.
He tops the charts in terms of assists with 14 in the Premier League. It is not just the Belgian’s assists that have left everyone in awe but the way he has made City a sleeker team in attack and deadly in counter-attacks.
A tireless runner with a creative presence, De Bruyne has illustrated his qualities this season consistently for Pep Guardiola’s side and has provided us with enough reasons as to why he is hailed as one of the best midfielders across Europe.
If Salah and De Bruyne are to be compared, the former is three times ahead of the latter’s 7 league goals this season. In terms of chances created, De Bruyne has created 83 in comparison to Salah’s 41.
Salah has scored over 20 goals being a natural winger, which speaks volumes about his predatory instincts, while De Bruyne has been the creative hub of City that has blown away teams left, right and centre. As far as assists are concerned, the Belgian currently tops the charts for most assists in the Premier League (14). In comparison, Salah has 6 assists under his belt.
Further testimony to why De Bruyne is more of a playmaker is the key passes he makes per game – 2.56. Salah, on the other hand, makes 1.40 key passes. While De Bruyne has been a midfield enforcer for the Cityzens, Salah has been the driving force for the Reds this season.
One of them is surely going to win the player of the year award but it is tough to decide who will be that player at the end of the campaign. But it is clear the two are very different players, playing in different positions but equally influential in making their side’s eye-catching attacks operate.