Kevin de Bruyne is the number one ‘assistman’ in world football, according to a new survey.
After dissecting Premier League defences for Manchester City for close to eight years now, every man and his dog knows how good De Bruyne is.
The Belgian midfielder has been an ever-present in Pep Guardiola’s four-time Premier League champions, and for good reason.
De Bruyne has been named City’s player of the season four times now, and has won the prestigious PFA Players’ Player of the Year award twice. He regularly finishes the season near the top of the assist charts, and when he’s not busy creating chances for others, he’s scoring spectacular goals himself.
However, even the most die-hard City fans will admit that De Bruyne hasn’t performed at his usual high level over the past couple of months. He has still been putting up the numbers – this season he has made 23 direct goal contributions in 33 games in all competitions – but something hasn’t been quite right.
That said, a new survey has crowned De Bruyne as the best ‘assistman’ in the world.
The CIES Football Observatory has analysed Wyscout data on domestic league assists made by players in 75 leagues around the world over the last 365 days.
By weighting the number of assists with the sporting coefficient of the matches played, they have come up with a ranking that sees De Bruyne sitting comfortably at the top, above Lionel Messi.
De Bruyne, who has amassed 18 assists over the past year, tops the pile with a score of 23.4. Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele is his closest chaser with a score of 17.5, having clocked 14 assists.
Next up is Messi, who with 15 assists has a score of 16.8. Ajax creator Dusan Tadic would sit top of the non-weighted rankings with 19 assists, but here he comes in at fourth with a score of 15.1 Neymar rounds off the top five with 14 assists and a score of 14.0.
The next best City player is Bernardo Silva, who comes in at number 30 with eight assists and a score of 10.5.