De Bruyne is undoubtedly one of the best players currently at Manchester City, as well as being one the Premier League’s best. Unfortunately he missed large parts of this treble winning campaign due to injuries, when he did featured though the Belgian midfielder looked formidable. His adverse lack of game time remains irrelevant upon considering Vinny’s successor, it’ll be incredibly tough to truly fulfil the legacy Kompany created as he is arguably City’s greatest ever captain – but Kev has all the traits to do just that.
Everything required to be a great and influential leader was displayed in his game last season. There are key aspects he excels in contributing to his suitability of skipper which are; his work rate, motivational skills, genuine passion alongside that true desire and almost desperation to always win.
It’s discernible and fair to credit much of Manchester City’s recent success to how great the chemistry is within the team, much of that comes from KDB. Obviously Guardiola installed that ethic initially resonating onto the squad, but it has always felt like De Bruyne embraced the philosophy more intensely than most. It’s been said that he’s as much as an influential character in the dressing room as Kompany always was, the “All Or Nothing” documentary reinforced that. His passionate elements were amplified further than what we generally saw on the pitch, especially during the arduous times.
During the centurion season there were several occasions when City looked deflated on the field, KDB would get them going again. A brilliant example is the game against Liverpool at Anfield, hope was lost when the Reds were 4-1 as the game was dead, it finished 4-3 however with City almost completing an unlikely comeback. It was De Bruyne who refused to give up with his relentless running, gestures/shouts almost resembling war cries, spreading his auroa of belief. The re-invigoration he instilled almost rescued the loss but more importantly showed his undying spirit which is rather unique nowadays. He covered the most ground that game as well as making the most interceptions, come the end of the season he topped those stat charts for City – impressive for an attacking player.
That all may seem pedantic or abstractly minuscule as they lost the game, however it’s the loss that signifies the never die attitude which is essential to be a top notch captain. Consider Roy Keane; probably the best captain ever to grace the Premier League, in terms of technical ability though – he never matched the likes of Scholes, Viera, Gerrard etc. His leadership tendencies were beyond world class; inspirational, motivational and how he organised his teammates resulted in dominant success. Keane was so formidable he influenced refeering decisions as they were terrified of him, Clattenburg said in his autobiography he’d give 50/50 decisions to United because he was scaredof Keane, insane but impressive.
Albeit De Bruyne doesn’t come close to Keane when comparing those ruthless qualities but he emulates the Irishman relatively well in many aspects. His anger such as the “let me talk” moment made him seem more comical than intimidating, it’s the additional parts of his game that are significant in why he’d boss the captaincy role.
The vital basics required to lead he already has; he’s respected by his colleagues not just because of his motivation and drive, more so that simply he’s an absolutely phenomenal footballer. The contemporary association with the best footballers being arrogant is non-existent with him, it’s clear he doesn’t have an ego regarding all teammates as equal rather than placing himself on a pedestal. He’s undoubtedly one of City’s best players but you can also argue that he’s up there with the best players in world football at present.
Manifested by Guardiola, Manchester City for the first time have a group of players who resemble a togetherness as a team, rather than a team of individuals like during the earlier years of the Sheiks. KDB is at the heart of it all; he didn’t cry when he got married or when his kids were born, but he cried when he got injured as he was told he couldn’t play for a while. That’s how much he cares.
If he is made captain and avoids long term injuries, he will begin to closely resemble Steven Gerrard during his prime at Liverpool. The passion levels will always differ due to Gerrard being a local lad, but the aforementioned characteristics De Bruyne possesses share parallels with what made Stevie G an unbelievable player and captain for Liverpool.
I’d wager on David Silva being captain in the coming season as Pep loves giving the armband to the longest serving players, David is possibly City’s greatest ever player but he just doesn’t suit the captaincy like Kevin De Bruyne does. When El Mago moves on it hopefully will be passed to City’s Belgian #17, when that happens I’m confident I’ll be able to return here and say “I told you so”.