Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has won the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year award for 2019-20.
City ceded the Premier League title to Liverpool as they finished 18 points behind Jurgen Klopp’s champions, in second place, but De Bruyne enjoyed a magnificent individual campaign.
The Belgium international scored 16 goals and provided 23 assists in all competitions, equalling Thierry Henry’s record of 20 assists in a single Premier League season.
De Bruyne saw off competition from team-mate Raheem Sterling, along with the Liverpool quartet of Jordan Henderson, Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
England right-back Alexander-Arnold received the PFA Young Player of the Year honour.
De Bruyne, who is the first City player to win the coveted top prize, said: “It’s a huge honour. To be voted for by your colleagues and competitors from other teams who you play against and they vote for you for best player is amazing.
“It’s strange that I’m the first one at City given all the good players that have played here before and who are still playing here, but it’s nice to represent the club.
“I think it is [the ultimate honour] because you compete against them, they want to win the trophies, they want to be the best. When they vote for you, and it’s everyone who is voting not just a few players, that means you’ve done really well during the season.”
De Bruyne’s City boss Pep Guardiola added: “To win this award is an outstanding achievement, and Kevin is so deserving of it.
“To be recognised by other players is the most that any footballer can ask for, because they understand not only what it is to compete against you, but also the level of commitment it takes to play at the very top.
“There have been many great players in this club’s history, especially over the last decade working with Roberto [Mancini], Manuel [Pellegrini] and myself. We have won many titles, but Kevin is the first to receive this prestigious award. This recognition is also a tribute to all the fantastic players who have come before him.
“We are so proud of Kevin and this will only strengthen what he means to this club and our fans. From all the players, coaches and staff at Manchester City, I would like to congratulate him.”
De Bruyne features in the PFA Team of the Year, alongside his four fellow nominees from Liverpool and ex-City team-mate David Silva, who brought down the curtain on 10 decorated years at the Etihad Stadium last season.
Andy Robertson completes a Liverpool quintet, with Burnley’s Nick Pope selected as goalkeeper and Caglar Soyuncu joining Van Dijk at centre-back.
Soyuncu’s Leicester City colleague and Premier League Golden Boot winner Jamie Vardy lines up in the front three with Mane and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
PFA Team of the Year: Nick Pope (Burnley); Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester City), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Andy Robertson Liverpool); Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), David Silva (Manchester City, now at Real Sociedad); Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)