Sky Sports pundit and former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp has backed Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne to win the Premier League's Player of the Year award, saying he's a long way ahead of the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane and Jordan Henderson.
Per MailOnline's David Wood, Redknapp made the comments after the Belgian's starring display in the 2-0 win over West Ham United on Wednesday:
"When he's on the pitch he's head and shoulders above anyone else. I didn't think [Bernardo] Silva could be beat, but KDB is taking it to the next level.
"It was like he had a force field around him today―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 also said De Bruyne is the best player in the Premier League but added the award should go to a Liverpool star because of their dominant season.
De Bruyne scored and assisted in the 2-0 win over the Hammers, setting up numerous chances:
The 28-year-old has enjoyed a fine season, putting up some incredible numbers:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Kevin De Bruyne has now been directly involved in 24 Premier League goals this season, his best-ever return in the competition. ⬢ 2016/17: 6 goals, 18 assists ⬢ 2017/18: 8 goals, 16 assists ⬢ 2019/20: 8 goals, 16 assists And he's done it three times. 😅 https://t.co/ut1apKtlp9
His strong play has guided City to second place in the Premier League standings, but the Sky Blues trail the Reds by a record-setting margin. The gap sits at 22 points after 26 matches, with Liverpool winning all but one of their outings.
That incredible run makes it highly likely one of the Reds players will take home the Player of the Year award for the third season in a row. Mohamed Salah took top honours after the 2017-18 campaign, and Van Dijk is the holder.
Both won it despite not playing for the title-winners, but if the Reds finish the season unbeaten and with a lead of more than 20 points to the second-placed side, it's hard to see anyone else claiming the award.
Van Dijk is enjoying another fine season at the back and has been on a phenomenal statistical run since being paired with Joe Gomez:
Mane is the team's second-best scorer in the league after Salah, and Henderson is the leader in midfield. The England international has also been in great form of late:
The Reds will face their next hurdle on the road to an unbeaten Premier League campaign on Monday, when they take on West Ham. City face third-place Leicester City on Saturday.