I genuinely cannot truly describe my admiration for my favourite Belgian, nothing I say can do him justice – he is simply phenomenal, majestic, incredible – need any more adjectives? I’ll settle on world bloody class. It’s no secret, everybody agrees, yet if you think he looks good on the tele you should watch him live – ten times better.
There are only a handful of games I haven’t managed to attend since the future City legend joined from Wolfsburg; I’ve had the privilege of seeing an abundance of fantastic players visit East Manchester, the mesmeric Messi is still easily the best with KDB a close second. We all know how good he is though, so what’s my point?
Remember Claude Makelele? Of course you do. Sheer quality, Centre Defensive Midfielders were uncommon before he came along, there’s a reason many still refer to it as the Makelele position. He was a pioneer and helped shape much of the football we know today, it doesn’t happen very often – but I think it’s about to happen again.
As completely subjective as it is, it’s definitely worth discussing and as I haven’t seen anybody else even reference it I thought I’d take the plunge. My notion is simple; Kevin De Bruyne is (arguably) the best all-around midfielder ever and years down the line people will refer to De Bruyne when discussing a CM that can do everything brilliantly. Look, I can already see the screams of bias and how I’m insane for suggesting it – I’m not. Remember it’s my opinion, I’m genuinely intrigued to see other viewpoints on the subject. It’s ridiculously hyperbole I know that. I also know that there are so many variables that will affect his career progression. My initial plan was to write this in 2 or 3 seasons time to see if he maintained his current calibre, but here it is and when the Ginger wizard proves me right I’ll take great joy in saying I told you so.
For clarification I’m not suggesting he’s manifested a new position in an innovative manner like Makelele did, I just see a myriad of similarities hence the comparison. Others may not perceive it as I do which is fine, imagine how boring it’d be if we agreed on everything… Each individual will distinguish the differences in their own way. The main disparity for me lies within the influence each has/had on the game years down the line. Look how most top sides currently have a player in the Makelele position and it’s often a pivotal part of the team, compare that with Kev (if he goes on to achieve greatness) as although he will be remembered for his quality and reinventing the ultimate centre midfielder – it will not be replicated like Makelele’s role was. Why? Because it requires a player of world-class stature to do what KdB does…
That’s basically it, I’ll finish with a few reasons to back me up – but he’ll do that himself on the pitch. If you’ve managed to get this far without commenting “Roy Keane?? Matthaus?? Stevie G?? etc” I haven’t forgotten them, nor Paul Scholes and Patrick Viera who are probably the closest candidates to play the KdB position. Not quite though! The majority of players often suggested tend to be more defensive minded, they all still posses attacking prowess they’re just better defensively – cue the “Scholes couldn’t tackle so you’re talking crap” replies. I believe De Bruyne demarcates himself from the pack with four main characteristics; his extraordinary offensive qualities, his surprisingly solid defensive ability, his passion and desire to win, and my favourite trait of his – work rate. It is incredible how hard he works, it’s why he’s been great defensively – he’s won the ball back for us this season more than anybody else. Seriously. Before you call me out observe him on Sunday, you’ll know what I mean.
There’s so much more I could speak about; Pep’s influence, the rest of the team being unreal and whatever else but I digress – maybe I’ll do a follow up to this. Please let me know your thoughts, I’d love a discussion about it and I’m more than happy to change my mind if the argument is good enough. Our Kev, keep up the form for a few years and he might just trump a certain Colin Bell.