The former Reds midfielder admits that key men at Anfield have starred, but Manchester City’s playmaker is “head and shoulders above anyone else”
Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane are considered to be serious contenders for the 2019-20 Player of the Year award, given their exploits at Liverpool this season, but former Reds star Jamie Redknapp says Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is “head and shoulders above anyone else”.
The Belgium international was edged out by an Anfield rival last term, as Virgil van Dijk landed the PFA prize ahead of a playmaker who helped his side to an historic domestic treble.
History could repeat itself 12 months on, although Liverpool have been the dominant force in the English game this time around.
Seeing either of the men from Merseyside land a prestigious individual award would come as no surprise, but Redknapp believes the quality and consistency of De Bruyne should be recognised by his peers.
The ex-Liverpool star told Sky Sports after seeing the Belgian dictate proceedings for City in a 2-0 victory over West Ham: “When he’s on the pitch he’s head and shoulders above anyone else. I didn’t think [David] Silva could be beaten but KDB is taking it to the next level.
“It was like he had a force field around him – no one was allowed to tackle him. His passes are always so inviting, cutting open defences.
“It was also what he did without the ball – his all-round game right now is on another level. He’s not in the team of the year but for me he’s the player of the year.
“The contenders VVD – amazing season, Henderson – big fan, even Mane – but look at KDB’s numbers – 20 assists – miles ahead of those around him. He is the best player in the country right now by a mile.”
Former City defender Micah Richards agrees with that assessment, but admits that he expects collective and individual gongs to be swept up by Liverpool.
He added: “It will go to a Liverpool player – I said Henderson was world class at the start of the year, I got abuse on Twitter and now he’s second in the running.
“For me a Liverpool player has to win it but there’s no one else at KDB’s standard.”