A couple of weeks ago we wrote that it would take something special from Kevin De Bruyne (£7.3m) to stop Riyad Mahrez (£7.3m) finishing as Dream Team’s outright best midfielder this season.
Last night, the Belgian delivered something very special indeed.
Under pressure to respond to Liverpool’s win over Aston Villa, Man City’s strawberry-blonde talisman scored FOUR goals to help his side to a 5-1 victory over Wolves.
Naturally, the headline is that De Bruyne’s brilliance has all but ensured Pep Guardiola’s side will claim their fourth league title in five years.
From a Dream Team perspective, the big news is that the 30-year-old’s 36-point Game Week haul has propelled him above his Algerian team-mate in the rankings.
De Bruyne is now the best midfield asset in the game with 240 points to his name – Mahrez is on 231.
City’s No17 has achieved the unlikely by tapping into some superhuman form – he’s plundered 116 points from his last 13 games!
2021/22 is now KDB’s best ever season in terms of goals – he’s scored 19 in all competitions (15 in the league) after his rout at Molineux.
Cristiano Ronaldo (£7.9m), Son Heung-min (£6.2m) and Mohamed Salah (£7.7m) are the only players with more Premier League goals to their name at this late stage of term.
It’s been something of a unique season for De Bruyne.
His tally of seven league assists is below par when measured against his sky-high standards – he provided 32 across the previous two campaigns.
However, dig a little deeper and the stats suggest he’s still the best creator in the top flight.
His average of 0.36 expected assists per 90 minutes (xAp90) is the highest in the league with Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.6m) and Salah close behind both on 0.34.
In terms of producing quality chances when on the pitch, De Bruyne remains unmatched – this suggest his team-mates haven’t made the most of his playmaking talent this term.
In contrast, he’s been ultra efficient in front of goal himself, scoring 15 league goals from just 4.9 expected goals (xG).
This reflects the quality of his range shooting with both feet in recent months, best evidenced by his 17-minute, left-footed hat-trick in the first half yesterday.
To put his emphatic finishing into perspective: if every player in the Premier League converted their chances in accordance with xG then De Bruyne would be the joint-55th top scorer – in reality he’s joint-fourth.
With two fixtures remaining, he only has to match his average of 5.6 points-per-game to reach 250 overall, which would probably be enough to hold off any response from Mahrez.
De Bruyne’s legacy as a Dream Team legend was already assured but this season he’s cemented his pedigree in some style.