Mohamed Salah may have been named the PFA Player of the Year, but former Everton wideman Steven Pienaar believes that Kevin De Bruyne has been the Premier League’s outstanding talent this season.
De Bruyne was one of three Manchester City players – along with Leroy Sane and David Silva – who were pipped to the award by Salah during a ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House hotel on Sunday.
Salah has had a fine campaign during his maiden season for Liverpool, scoring 31 goals in 33 Premier League games after signing from AS Roma during the offseason, although Pienaar still believes that Premier League-winner De Bruyne has been the division’s outstanding talent.
“It’s difficult, obviously, as they’re having the best seasons of their lives at the moment,” Everton’s newly appointed International Ambassador told KweséESPN. “For me, personally, I’d go for Kevin De Bruyne.
“He obviously doesn’t score as many goals as Mo Salah, but he’s very important for Manchester City, for the way they play, and he creates a lot of goals from the midfield.”
De Bruyne has indeed been influential for Pep Guardiola’s side during their romp to the championship, with the Belgian playmaker making more decisive contributions this term than in his previous two seasons at City.
To date, he’s scored eight and contributed 15 assists in 34 Premier League outings, with no player in the division creating more goals for their teammates.
Sane and Silva are second and third in the assists charts respectively, having weighed in with 12 and 11 respectively, with the duo having each scored nine.
“There’s something special [about De Bruyne],” Pienaar concluded, “I think Kevin would get my vote if I had one.”
In winning the PFA Player of the Year award, Salah becomes just the second African player to win the prize, following in the footsteps of Riyad Mahrez. The Algeria international was honoured as the division’s best after playing an inspirational role in Leicester City’s unlikely 2016 Premier League success.