Although the current Premier League campaign has been brought to a grinding halt as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019-20 season has still seen a number of consistently brilliant performers.
Two of the league’s standout players this term have been Manchester City’s midfield genius Kevin De Bruyne and Liverpool’s defensive maestro Virgil van Dijk.
We here at GiveMeSport asked our Facebook followers to pick between the pair in a poll to decide their Premier League Player of the Year.
It was a close run race, with the poll attracting over 113,000 votes, but the man who came out on top was Belgian superstar De Bruyne. “KDB” emerged victorious having picked up 55% of the vote, and the 28-year-old has certainly been consistently impressive this season.
Despite his Manchester City side trailing current league leaders Liverpool by a massive 25 points, the standard of De Bruyne’s personal form cannot be overlooked.
In 26 league appearances for City this season, De Bruyne has notched eight goals – including a first-half brace in a 3-0 win against Arsenal at the Emirates. De Bruyne’s most telling contributions, though, lie in his overal value to Pep Guardiola’s side.
De Bruyne has recorded 16 assists thus far this term – a number which puts him four clear of Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold at the top of the division’s assist chart. Regardless of the fact that he looks set to miss out on a third-consecutive league title with City, De Bruyne has enjoyed a marvellous campaign.
The same praise, though, can certainly be extended to Van Dijk. The Dutch captain has played a key role in taking Liverpool to the brink of their first league championship win in 30 years.
The defensive work of Van Dijk helped Liverpool to a run of 44 league games without defeat, before that streak was ended by Watford last month.
Having played 29 league games this term, Van Dijk ensured that his side kept clean sheets on 12 occasions. The Dutchman also contributed four goals during that same period.
Naturally, it is always going to be tough to compare two players with very different roles and styles, such as De Bruyne and Van Dijk. Ultimately, it comes down to individual opinion on each man’s performances. Whilst De Bruyne edged the poll, there were several fans who felt the result went the wrong way.
“VVD all day,” declared one comment on the result. “De Bruyne is an outstanding player don’t get me wrong but it’s the consistency and fitness of Virgil van Dijk that gets the nod. De Bruyne gets injured a lot. Also mind the gap between Liverpool and city. 25 points. That says a lot right there.”
“VVD all day with a 25 point lead at the top of the table and less money spent on a squad. It really isn’t even close,” agreed another fan.
De Bruyne did, of course, have plenty of his own support in the comments.
“Nope KDB easily. The best midfielder in the prem easily. The best midfielder in the world easily,” stated a De Bruyne backer.
“Is this even a debate… KDB is the best player in the world at the moment,” said another fan in support of the poll result.
The debate can never truly be settled, but for once this year, it seems that Manchester City got the best of Liverpool on this occasion.