Mens Team

Breaking down assist king De Bruyne’s passing

Breaking down assist king De Bruyne’s passing
Kevin De Bruyne is the midfield maestro who can do it all, but when it comes to setting up goals, nobody does it better than Manchester City’s No.17.

His 2019/20 campaign was one of sustained brilliance as he once again proved to be the creative heartbeat of Pep Guardiola’s side and the most prolific provider of goals in the Premier League.

De Bruyne’s tally of 20 assists equalled Thierry Henry’s 17-year record for the highest number in a single season and saw him win the playmaker award for the second time in three years.

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The 29-year-old ended the league campaign having created seven more goals than second-placed Trent Alexander-Arnold and averaged 0.57 assists per appearance at a rate of one every 140 minutes.

In the City squad, it was Sergio Aguero who profited most from the Belgian’s expert delivery, netting six goals from his team-mate’s passes, with only Wolves’ Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez combining more (7).

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Raheem Sterling (4), Gabriel Jesus (3) and David Silva (2), all converted from De Bruyne on multiple occasions, with the rest of his assists being knocked in by Bernardo Silva, Rodrigo, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte.

De Bruyne made 1907 passes across the entire Premier League season at an average of 54.49 per game and created 33 big chances.

He led the way for the number of key passes per game, averaging 3.9 across his 35 appearances, which is 1.4 more than James Maddison in second place, whilst he also recorded the highest number of through balls per game with 0.4.

The midfielder played his greatest amount of key passes (10) during his superb display against Norwich City on the final day of the season, whilst his pass success percentage was at its best in the 4-1 win over Burnley in December when he reached 88.5%.

His highest number of passes in a single game was 102 – the only time he exceeded 100 – and that came in the 2-0 win over West Ham in February.

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If City were to progress in the Champions League, then De Bruyne would have another personal target to chase down.

He has provided 23 assists in all competitions this season, which is five short of the career best tally he achieved with Wolfsburg in 2014/15, when he set what was then a Bundesliga record of 19 assists.

Victory over Real Madrid would leave Guardiola’s side with a potential three further games for the mesmerising midfielder to make 2019/20 his most creative season yet.

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