Former Premier League footballer Jamie Redknapp believes that Kevin De Bruyne is one of the best midfielders in the world – and only Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong is in the same league as Manchester City’s Belgian supremo.
De Bruyne scored a brace and took his Premier League assists tally into double figures at the weekend, reaching the halfway mark of Thierry Henry’s record of 20 before the midway point of the campaign.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Redknapp could only liken one player to De Bruyne’s brilliance – and talked up Barcelona’s young Dutchman, who moved to the Nou Camp in the summer after starring for Ajax last season.
Redknapp said: “There are two midfielders who stand out to me in world football right now and they are Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Frenkie de Jong of Barcelona.
“These two are different class. Their brains are so in tune with modern football.
“The intelligence of their runs, the timing of their tackles, the way they read the game and know what is about to happen as if they have a crystal ball tucked in their socks!
“They are smoothness personified. They love to have the ball and never give it away.
“Now imagine them together. Wow. That balance would be a dream for any manager.”
With De Bruyne virtually winning games on his own and threatening to break records in a super personal season for him at City, it may be perhaps surprising Redknapp attempts to put De Jong within the same bracket – with the 22-year-old registering just a couple of assists for the La Liga champions.
That said, De Jong has started more often for Barcelona than the likes of Sergio Busquets this season and finished above De Bruyne in the recent Ballon d’Or rankings – while his previous seasons suggest he is by no means a prolific creator of goals, with four assists in all competitions last season for Ajax.
Though it seems that both players are different types of midfielder, with De Jong more of a defensive, Busquets-esque player – while De Bruyne is more attack-minded (as demonstrated by eight of his 11 assists coming while playing further forward).
However, that could suggest they can provide a ‘dream’ balance as Redknapp suggests, even if the Belgian in his prime may well be in a league of his own.
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