Monday, May 29, 2023

De Bruyne ´right up there´ with Premier League greats – Toure

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 May 2023


Kevin De Bruyne is “right up there” among the Premier League greats such as Steven Gerrard, Yaya Toure and Paul Scholes.

That was the message to Stats Perform from Kolo Toure, who also likened the De Bruyne and Erling Haaland pairing at Manchester City to former Arsenal combination Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp.

The Belgium midfielder has been central to City’s push for a third straight top-flight title this term, assisting 16 times and scoring seven of his own in the league.

Toure believes not many compare to De Bruyne as City remain competing for the treble, with an FA Cup final against Manchester United and a Champions League last-four meeting with Real Madrid also to come.

He said: “[Kevin De Bruyne] is right up there with those top, legendary players. Steven Gerrard, Yaya Toure, all those players, Paul Scholes.

“I rate him really, really high, because this guy technically, tactically is unbelievable. His range of passes is fantastic, his vision is incredibly great and he is, for me, the best midfielder in the world right now.

“One of them definitely. Maybe the best one, because what he has shown game after game is great.”

De Bruyne put City in control of the title race with his double against Arsenal in Wednesday’s 4-1 win at the Etihad Stadium.

Haaland followed that up with the final goal against the Gunners before netting his 50th strike of the season across all competitions in Sunday’s narrow 2-1 win over Fulham.

That half-century tally of goals is 21 more than any other Premier League player this term and more strikes than seven English top-flight clubs in all competitions this campaign.

Toure says the combination between Haaland and chief creator De Bruyne reminds him of Arsenal legends Henry and Bergkamp, who played an integral role in the Gunners’ last title-winning campaign back in 2003-04.

“He shows all his quality technically, tactically with his passes and having Haaland with him has made his game even better, because he has a player he can pass the ball to, as soon as he lifts his head Haaland is on his way and he can pass him the ball at the right time,” Toure added.

“Sometimes in teams when you create those relationships – in our time you would say Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry, and Thierry Henry as Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne as Dennis Bergkamp really.

“They have this connection together and you can feel that they both know each other, they look for each other. When one provides the ball and the other one scores, the other one runs at him and praises him.

“But, De Bruyne at the moment, for me, is top, top, top. Right up there with all the top midfielders we have had in the Premier League, definitely.”


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