Kevin De Bruyne excited to work with ‘top striker’ Erling Haaland at Man City
Kevin De Bruyne’s creative statistics are already impressive, but the midfielder says playing with Erling Haaland could improve them.
Kevin De Bruyne says he is excited to work with “top striker” Erling Haaland at Manchester City, admitting the arrival of the 21-year-old might enable him to build on his already impressive assist figures.
De Bruyne was named Premier League Player of the Season as City won their fourth top-flight title in five seasons last month, with the midfielder top-scoring for Pep Guardiola’s men with 15 league goals during the 2021-22 campaign, also adding eight assists.
Despite his impressive goalscoring return, the Belgian fell some way short of his tally of 20 Premier League assists in the 2019 -20 campaign (a joint single-season record in the competition, along with Thierry Henry in 2002-03) – but De Bruyne’s attempts to record similar figures in the future could be aided by the presence of Haaland.
The striker scored 86 goals in 89 appearances for Borussia Dortmund after joining from RB Salzburg in January 2020, and is expected to thrive with De Bruyne providing him with service after agreeing a move to the Etihad Stadium.
Haaland will improve City
Speaking to Belgian outlet HLN, De Bruyne said City’s acquisition of Haaland was good news for both the team and himself.
“Erling Haaland is a top striker. His move should help us to grow as a team,” he said.
“Everybody expects a lot. They [the club] have always been looking for a number nine, but I think it’ll be good to have that striker that maybe scores 20 to 25 goals a season.”
Asked whether the Norwegian’s arrival would help him to up his own already outstanding creative numbers, De Bruyne added: “Maybe. There have been years that I have more assists.
“But my chance creation and other things have remained consistent. Numbers are a part of football but they never tell you the full story.”
No other City player came close to the 87 chances De Bruyne created in the Premier League in 2021-22, with fellow midfielder Bernardo Silva second on 59.
Meanwhile, De Bruyne, who will turn 31 later this month, was also asked whether the upcoming World Cup in Qatar – at which Belgium will face Canada, Morocco, and Croatia in Group F – could be his last.
De Bruyne committed to Belgium
The midfielder, who says the Red Devils are “slightly more of an outsider” to win the tournament than they were in 2018 when they reached the semi-finals in Russia, plans on playing international football until at least Euro 2024 but will not give any assurances beyond that date.
“I will continue with the national team,” he added. “I don’t know how long. In any case, until the European Championship in 2024 – if bad things don’t happen.
“We’ll see how I feel. Quality trumps quantity for me.
“It is also difficult to find the perfect balance between the family and the life we lead. My wife understands that, the children occasionally. They sometimes regret that daddy cannot be there. Later they will understand.”
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