De Bruyne wins Premier League Player of the Year award
Kevin De Bruyne has been named the Premier League's Player of the Season.
The Manchester City star has driven Pep Guardiola's team to the verge of a fourth title in the space of five seasons with some sensational displays.
Despite having a rather stuttering start to the campaign after suffering an eye injury in last season's Champions League final, and then sustaining another problem during Belgium's Euro 2020 quarter-final defeat to Italy, the 30-year-old has gone on to score 15 goals in the Premier League so far in 2021-22.
Remarkably, those goals have come from an expected goals (xG) value of just 5.8. He has also provided seven assists.
Four of those came in City's 5-1 thrashing of Wolves earlier in May, with De Bruyne becoming the first player since Harry Kane in May 2017 to score three goals in a Premier League game with his weak foot, while he is the first midfielder in the competition's history to do so.
Indeed, he has contributed to 13 goals across his last nine Premier League appearances to truly take the reins of City's title charge.
While City still need to beat Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa on the final day to ensure the title is theirs, De Bruyne's stellar efforts have been rewarded.
The playmaker previously won the award in 2020, after matching Thierry Henry's Premier League assists record, while a City player has taken the prize for a third successive season, with Ruben Dias having won the accolade last year.
City may be signing Erling Haaland ahead of next term but this season they have once again operated without a recognised number nine, though De Bruyne's 15 strikes put him as the team's leading scorer.
Over his last 19 league matches, De Bruyne has registered a goal involvement every 81 minutes, edging out his single-season best from 2019-20 (85 minutes per goal involvement). He is also the only player to average over three shots and over three chances created per 90 minutes this season in the Premier League.
De Bruyne's triumph seals a fine day for City players, with Phil Foden having been selected as the league's Young Player of the Season.
Golden Boot contenders Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min were also on the eight-man shortlist for the Player of the Year award, which included Joao Cancelo, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jarrod Bowen, Bukayo Saka and James Ward-Prowse.