For some hair-raising displays, the Manchester City star has driven Pep Guardiola’s team to the brink of a fourth title in approximately five seasons.
Despite a shaky start to the season with an eye injury in last season’s Champions League final, and then another issue during Belgium’s Euro 2020 quarter-final loss to Italy, the 30-year-old has scored 15 goals in the Premier League so far in 2021-22.
Those goals were scored with a normal goals (xG) value of only 5.8. He has also contributed seven assists.
Four of them came in City's 5-1 thrashing of Wolves in May, with De Bruyne being the first player since Harry Kane in May 2017 to score three goals in a Premier League game with his powerless foot, and the first midfielder in the competition's history to do so.
To be sure, he's scored 13 goals in his last nine Premier League outings to take command of City's championship defense. While City still need to overcome Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa on the final day to secure the title, De Bruyne's divine efforts have been rewarded.
The playmaker recently won the honor in 2020, in the wake of matching Thierry Henry’s Premier League assists record, while a City player has taken the award for a third progressive season, with Ruben Dias having won the award the year before.
City may acquire Erling Haaland next season, but they have struggled to find a consistent number nine this season, with De Bruyne leading the way with 15 goals.
De Bruyne has a goal inclusion in each of his past 19 league games, surpassing his single-season best from 2019-20. (85 minutes for every goal contribution). He’s also the only Premier League player to average more than three shots and over three opportunities every hour and a half this season.
The triumph of De Bruyne completes a successful day for City players.
Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min were also on the eight-man waitlist for the Player of the Year award, among Joao Cancelo, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jarrod Bowen, and others.
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