Kevin De Bruyne stands out as one of the most creative players in recent football history. His unparalleled ability to orchestrate play, and unlock defences with his extraordinary vision, has elevated him to the pinnacle of the sport. In this article for The Dugout, we look at De Bruyne’s Premier League legacy, as well as demonstrate how our ICON Range and Training Modes can build the fundamental skills needed to be the next KDB.
FUTURE PL HALL OF FAMER
Kevin De Bruyne's legacy in the Premier League is nothing short of a masterclass in consistency and resilience. Since his arrival at Manchester City in 2015 (a then club-record fee of £55 million), he seamlessly embraced the challenges of the English top-flight, turning every obstacle into an opportunity. De Bruyne's impact has been characterised not only by jaw dropping moments of brilliance but also by his unwavering consistency in delivering top-notch performances. Whether threading inch-perfect assists or unleashing thunderous shots from outside the box, he takes every game in his stride. He has recorded the tied-third most assists in Premier League history with 103 in 244 games, only behind two Premier league icons, Cesc Fabregas, and Ryan Giggs, who have played 350 and 632 games retrospectively.
NEW INJURY PROBLEMS & HIS REHABILITATION
Before this season, De Bruyne had a mostly injury-free career, with his longest time out missing seven matches. However, things took a turn when he had to leave the Champions League final against Inter Milan in June due to a hamstring injury. The next time he played was two months later, on the opening day of this season against Burnley, but unfortunately, he had to exit the match again with a more severe hamstring issue that required surgery. In total, he sat out for 32 matches before making a comeback to City’s team sheet on December 30th. The rehabilitation process was vital for De Bruyne to be able to get back up to match sharpness, playing to the best of his ability, and to prevent injury reoccurrence. Read more here about the rehabilitation process in football.
Recent form suggests that City have hugely missed their talisman, going four Premier League games without a win in November/December and are left playing catch up behind leaders Liverpool. On the 13th January against Newcastle United, De Bruyne came on as a substitute in the 69th minute making his return to the Premier League for the first time in 5 months. He only had one shot from open play which he scored to equalise just 5 minutes after coming onto the pitch showcasing his insane ability. He elegantly placed a shot from outside the box into the bottom left corner of the net, making the execution appear almost too effortless.
Additionally, he delivered a remarkable assist in the dying moments, orchestrating the setup for young talent Oscar Bobb to secure the winning goal, clinching three crucial points for City. His vision and awareness to spot Bobb was truly unbelievable. De Bruyne only had 35 touches but that’s all he needed to cause the ultimate damage to Eddie Howe’s side.
ESA & OUR TRAINING MODES
Engaging with ESA products allows players to experience more touches of the ball in just 1-high-intensity-minute, than the 35 touches De Bruyne had during his 21-minute impact against Newcastle. The ICON Range is designed to enhance crucial aspects of a player's game, such as vision, decision-making, and awareness which are all attributes that played a pivotal role in Kevin De Bruyne's stellar performance on the pitch.
ESA’s ‘Maestro’ Training Mode is a great exercise that represents De Bruyne’s skill set. There are 3 optional targets to hit, 2 green and 1 blue. Relating this to a match scenario, the green lights would be a forward pass which may cut through the opposition defence and create a goal scoring chance or attack, whereas the blue target is a safer option of passing sideways or backwards retaining possession. Learn how to play the Maestro Training Mode in our video below.
In the Premier League last season Kevin De Bruyne completed a total of 1192 passes. 538 being short passes (between 5 and 15 yards), 477 medium range passes (between 15 and 30 yards) and 160 long passes (30 yards and more). He also had the most assists in the league with 16. The ICON Range allows players to train to perform all types of passes whether you are looking to make short sharp passes in a tight space or longer passes testing your accuracy.
Away from the ICON Range, we also have our Wall Range which allows players to practice their attacking shooting attributes and our Wireless Range, which allows coaches to get creative with our modular products. Manchester City FC are current owners of our ICON and Precision Wall, and we also have supplied our Precision Wall and ICON Fast Feet products to the Man City Challenge in Abu Dhabi. Learn more about our products and their benefits, via the products tab in the header.
WHAT NEXT FOR KDB?
If maestro Kevin De Bruyne can maintain a spell of injury-free brilliance, the possibilities seem endless. His versatility, strategic vision, and knack for game-changing moments suggest a player destined for individual accolades and perhaps adding more trophies to his cabinet. With a sixth Premier League title in his sights, the prospect of De Bruyne leading Manchester City to another triumph is undeniable. Furthermore, the return of Erling Haaland adds an exciting dynamic to City's attack, and with De Bruyne's unparalleled ability to craft opportunities, you must think that the assists tally is set to keep soaring. Is there any stopping Kevin De Bruyne and City?