The dynamic De Bruyne and the embodied Eriksen cast a spell of a creative midfielder which has counselled himself into becoming combative and compact, two individuals with the class that oozes chemistry to create intensity on the field. The former is earning acolytes from all corners and has very much hog the limelight while the latter continues to be an unsung hero being overshadowed by two of his illustrious English teammates. Kevin and Christian prove that command can overpower charisma.
Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin De Bruyne was captured for a fee of around 55 million pounds from Wolfsburg by Manchester City which was the second biggest transfer in English Football behind Angle Di Maria at that time. Wolfsburg itself signed him from Chelsea for 18 million pounds which was still a reasonable amount for an unproven talent in 2014. Mourinho surprisingly missed the bus but Pep was steady to supply the pipeline.
Impact on the team:
De Bruyne had a massive impact on Wolfsburg in that 2014-15 season, they finished 2nd in the league behind the belligerent Bayern Munich and Kevin was the architect of their acclaim. His performances, particularly against Bayern, were baffling and it caught Guardiola’s attention as he was on the top of his wish-list when he arrived at Manchester City. De Bruyne’s arrival at City has given them the calculative consistency that has empowered them to conquer. His link up with Aguero, Sane, Jesus and Sterling allows innovative movement to work in an improvised manner, crosses from the right and left are delivered with a perfect percentage and he makes those wide runs to deliver them from an angle which is easy to attack. He rarely wastes a pass plus his desire to defend from the front makes the press more powerful. De Bruyne comes up with crucial goals with both feet in marquee matches that Demonstrates his mental prowess. He still needs to win the league to start his legacy.
Relationship with the Manager:
He is a Pep persona in the mould of Iniesta who provides the incision and precision in and around the box. Pep loves those players who can feed runs with inch-perfect through balls and with De Bruyne he has found a ballplayer whose affiliation to accuracy is astounding.
Kevin De Bruyne has scored 15 goals and assisted 34 times in his 75 appearances for Manchester City in EPL, it is an outstanding record, add to it 61 successful through balls which is catastrophic, keep in mind his goals against Manchester United last season, Chelsea and Arsenal this season have settled matches and provided direction to City’s domination.
Eriksen was captured by Spurs from Ajax for a fee of around 11 million pounds which turned out to be a steal for this syndicate. Big clubs had an eye on him particularly Manchester United and Liverpool but they never made a move allowing spurs to systematically structure his services in 2013. Talent has justified the transaction.
Impact on the team:
Right from his Ajax days, you sensed there was something special to this serene character. His composure on the ball with the vision and execution to find an extravagant pass was enticing for any forward. When Spurs signed him, they were in a transformation phase with the likes of Kane, Alli and Eriksen craving for a fair chance, everybody has talked about BBC and MSN in recent times but you have to respect HDC (Harry, Delle and Christian) for the hunger and hustle they have brought to Tottenham. Eriksen is the perfect provider to the potent runs made beyond him by Kane and Alli plus he has a piledriver in his locker that can be located with precise placement. The style, speed and sensibility with which the game flows because of the energy of Eriksen in the middle is electric. The power press with portability becomes peculiar for an opponent defender. Spurs truly have become sophisticated.
Relationship with the manager:
Pochettino understood the potential of Christian and perpetuated his paradigm parallel to a prolific strike force. Eriksen’s positioning in and around the box allows time and space to create that telepathic touch with Alli in the shape of a chip through ball which is their trademark play and is more or less orchestrated from the sidelines.
Eriksen has scored 34 goals and assisted 40 times in 145 appearances for Spurs in EPL, 68 successful through balls also yields a healthy average. He is up and down when it comes to performing in big matches but his recent strike against woeful Real was sweet. His stats show the consistency which is beyond calculation.
Key stats in the 2017-18 campaign so far:
|Key Stats||Kevin De Bruyne||Christian Erisken|
De Bruyne and Eriksen provide intuition, initiation and insertion to integrate the attacks plus they both have the engine and stamina to choreograph the movement up front. De Bruyne shines in marquee matches whereas Eriksen is often humbled by a superior opponent or a teammate for that matter on a big stage.
Upside: De Bruyne continues to rise and his progress is parallel to his proximity with excellence, Eriksen, on the other hand, needs to win trophies in his passing peak years, Spurs should have won the league in 2015-16 when they played beautiful football but couldn’t grind out the tough results, Eriksen suffers from the same syndrome.
On the face of it, it seems like an easy pick but to be honest it is a tough decision for me because I’ve always favoured fantasy football that has been displayed by Spurs in the past 2-3 years of which Eriksen has been an integral part of. I know my decision to favour Martial in the last piece was a bit biased so I’ll remain neutral this time around and cash in on Kevin De Bruyne who is probably the best player in EPL right now.