Kevin DeBuryne Vs. Mohamed Salah… ah where to begin.
So after what I thought was going to be one of the more exciting and too close to call games, I want to bring up the Salah vs. De Bruyne argument for the PFA player of the year award. Now the last game where these two English elites played each other was the champions league but don’t let that take away from the two ridiculous campaigns the clubs are leading in the league. Lets start with the Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne.
This man has come back to the EPL and done just about everything he can to flip it upside down. His passing ability, creativity, futbol IQ, and general physical prowess make him an absolute problem in the midfield and his team has let the league known. Of all the players in the premiere league KDB leads in assists with 15 this year and the next three closest players are two of his comrades on city (Silva + Sane) and finally the man who is giving him the only conceivable argument of how he would lose the PFA player of the year award. He has only suffered one loss this entire campaign and has even put up 7 goals from his box-to-box midfield position. Kevin De Bruyne was an easy shoe in to win the award just how Manchester city came in and dominated the league at such an early stage and De Bruyne led a big part of that charge.
Now to take away from De Bruyne a bit he is on one of the most expensive rosters in football so there is also tons of young budding talent, experienced talent, and everything in between over at city since Pep stepped in they have spent over 600 Million dollars in the past two years. Now I don’t think you can really argue with one of the best coaches in the game when he says what he needs and what he can get for them, but if you gave a handful of coaches 600 million to win a title with I am sure others could do it also in a two year span.
Other than that the pairing of De Bruyne and David Silva has been absolutely lethal KDB’s ability to pass and his work effort defensively has given Silva much more space to roam and continue to be dangerous, shoot if Silva never got hurt he could be one of their top scorers. Pairing KDB up with more talent around him only makes it seem like the award was just falling into his lap as his form continued and improved City’s win streak seemed to continue to stretch. This was all find and well until we bring up the only man standing in KDB’s way… Mohamed Salah.
At the beginning of the season you didn’t really know exactly what Salah was bringing to the table besides he is dangerous as hell on the counter attack, loves to attack the wing, and he might just be one of the fastest men alive. After a lack luster Chelsea stint he found his way to Italy and then to Roma where he low key became a ridiculous attacking force and this year has him being compared to Messi.
Salah is one of the main reasons Liverpool is fighting for that second place spot. (Yes it’s a fight for second because nobody is catching city that can clinch in the Manchester derby) Now Salah comes into the premiere league has a fabulous debut and still not really too much talk around the league besides Liverpool fans who had already known they got the deal of the year buying Salah for about 50 million. This price has now doubled since he took the EPL by storm. He has broken Drogba’s (yes the Chelsea legend) goal scoring record in the league by an African and he is on pace to beat the all around goal scoring record since he is at 29 currently in 31 appearances. If scoring 29 goals in what is called “The worlds greatest league” isn’t impressive try doing it almost every damn game like Salah.
On top of the goals he is also a facilitator now he doesn’t have the assists the KDB has but I think 9 assists from your league-leading scorer is a pretty solid number. Because usually when you have the league-leading scorer you want him to I don’t know… score and never pass the ball. Now besides all the stats, which would put him up for the European golden boot, EPL golden boot, and possibly the champions league golden boot. (Granted he has to beat Ronaldo…good luck). Salah is just a world class talent and in under a year has the big boys looking at him such as (Madrid, Juventus, PSG…ETC.) His pace, dribbling and finishing ability put him in a league of his own that we have only seen the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar are in. Where we literally just see them run down the entire field and somehow make a play of it for us to watch as #7 on sports center (If you don’t watch sports center that joke isn’t going to make sense but they pretty much always dick over soccer highlights)
Now like I did for De Bruyne I will do for Salah and talk about some not as great things about him. Like KDB, Salah does have some help the front three of Liverpool are absolutely incredible when they are inform they can carry their team to beat anyone. Firmino and Mane are perfect compliments to Salah because they also like to play fast and are creative enough to get into dangerous spaces and also get the ball into dangerous spaces. Firmino’s flick game over the back line to find someone’s run is incredible. Also Salah is very soft now granted he is a small guy and running at ridiculous speeds, but he goes down pretty easily and isn’t always the best at holding the ball.
That being said KDB most definitely has a better team to work with than Salah. If you just look at the money they spent you can figure that out so for me I like to think of it this way. If you took both of these players out of their teams system who would make more of a detrimental effect? If you ask me I think that if KDB wanted to sit out the rest of the EPL season to focus on world cup and champions league I don’t think city would even lose a beat. That’s not me saying KDB is useless because he is arguably their best player, I just think that in the Pep system it isn’t hard to figure out what to do without KDBs ball movement and role in the midfield. Not to mention with him going out you replace him with Toure or Gundogan who are both elite players in their positions, and you still have all the other weapons of city such as Sterling, Sane, Jesus, Aguero I can go on and on. Where as with Liverpool without Salah there is a significant drop off. I saw them replace an injured Salah with Wijnaldum…… Yeah the dutch guy you haven’t heard of since he signed for Liverpool…. So if KDB gets replaced by Yaya Toure or Gundogan you still have a stacked midfield and the teams highest scorer in, but when Salah leaves the field you lost the main piece of your front three, the league leading scorer, and someone who will automatically get you out of a bind. I can’t tell you how many times I just see Liverpool lump it to that right corner and this man just goes and gets it.
But just from the argument of who means more to their team I think Salah shows why he deserves this award, and if that isn’t enough just look at the stats, look at the depth of the team he is on and how much they rely on him, look at the names he is being compared to, or shit just watch the man play a game, youtube this man just see what he does with a ball at his feet. This takes nothing away from Kevin De Bruyne he is a world-class talent who I look forward to seeing the world cup and more UCL football from, but for me the PFA Player of the Year has to be Mohamed Salah.
Now if you don’t like what I have to say just know I am right, even when I am wrong I am right, 643% of the time every time I am right, chat shit with me on twitter @shopaaj and Stay Wavy.