De Bruyne's impact on the performance of Manchester City

    13 Apr 2016 | Premier League | Opinion
    De Bruyne's impact on the performance of Manchester City

    Kevin De Bruyne has established himself as a crucial player for Manchester City since signing for the club last summer. The 24-year-old Belgian international signed for £54 million from Wolfsburg, becoming City's most expensive signing. His performances have had a big impact on his team and his first season has been justifying his hefty price tag.

    De Bruyne has scored fourteen goals in all competitions, from his attacking playmaker role. Manager Manuel Pellegrini descibes him as "a very important player". His presence in the side is key. This is reflected in Manchester City's form. The Belgian has recently returned from a two month injury lay-out after tearing a knee ligament during a 3-1 League Cup victory over Everton.

    At that stage De Bruyne had been in great form, scoring twelve goals and creating twelve assists for his club. Without him in the team, Manchester City have slumped to four league defeats and have been knocked out of the FA Cup. City have won fifty percent of their league games with De Bruyne in the side, claiming an average of 1.8 points per match. Without him they have been victors in twenty-seven percent of their league games taking an average of a point per game.

    The 24-year old has been granted the central attacking midfielder role. This is a position that allows him to thrive, sitting behind Sergio Aguero, who makes mazy runs and leaves behind space for De Bruyne to exploit with his goal scoring prowess. The Belgian also creates many chances for his teamates with his vision and drive.

    It was this all-round contribution that saw him named Player of the Year in Germany during his time with Wolfsburg. Manchester City called De Bruyne every day during their attempts to seal his signiture for the club. Their efforts being rewarded by a player who has a bright future with the team.

    De Bruyne scored on his return from injury last week, helping his team to a 4-0 win over Bournemouth. He then scored the first goal of a midweek Champions League quarter-final as the Manchester club got an impressive 2-2 first leg draw away to Paris Saint-Germain.

    It is possible that if De Bruyne had been fit and in the side all season, City could still be in contention for the Premier league title. As it is, his return has come at an important time. The club are fighting to maintain fourth spot in the League and have some tricky ties remaining, including a trip to relegation threatened Newcastle and a home match against third-placed Arsenal.

    City's midweek draw in Paris puts them in a strong position to beat PSG in the second leg and claim a Champions League semi final spot. The tie is far from over, but their two away goals definitely puts them in the driving seat. The Belgian believes The Citizens can win the competition, saying that if the team continue to play well, they will "always have a chance". Manchester City can still make this a succesful campaign and De Bruyne's return has given them the renewed attacking impetus they need.

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