Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne deserved to be named the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Player of the Year ahead of Liverpool ace Mohamed Salah.
Salah was named player of the year on Sunday despite the fact De Bruyne has been a beacon in City's imperious run to the Premier League title. Guardiola felt his playmaker was hard done by not to win, per James Robson of the Manchester Evening News:
“I know my opinion about these awards. From my point of view when you are analysing the nine or 10 months, there was no player better than him, in terms of the continuity, in terms of being there every three days of all competitions.
“I am sorry. Maybe in numbers there are guys better than him, but no (there is no better) player in this season. For me he was the best, but it is my opinion, but the opinions of the players could be different."
De Bruyne has scored seven goals and racked up 15 assists in the league as Guardiola's City moved to new heights this term, and football writer Daniel Storey concurred it was the Sky Blues star who should have snatched Player of the Year:
Guardiola added: "I would like to feel that he deserves it, but at the end, in the summer time, he will be at home, being a champion."
De Bruyne, 26, has also gained favour because of the number of ways in which he helps City's cause—not exclusively in attack—as illustrated by Squawka:
Salah has netted 41 goals in all competitions this term and bagged his 31st in the league this term at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, tying him for the most goals ever scored by a player in a single 38-game Premier League season.
Figures like David Silva, Raheem Sterling and PFA Young Player of the Year winner, Leroy Sane, were all crucial to building City's domineering attack, but there was no question for Robson as to whom the star is among that crop:
Of course, Guardiola has a bias, although many have agreed that City's class compared to the rest of the league—Manchester United are 16 points behind them in second—meant the Player of the Year should have come from their ranks.
As with the Ballon d'Or, there's no reason to suggest the most successful team must house the best individual player, although there's plenty of cause to argue De Bruyne was just that this term.