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Neville's tribute to De Bruyne: He's like a Scholes and Beckham hybrid

The Manchester City midfielder may not have won the PFA Player of the Year award but he has been hailed by the former United defender.

Kevin de Bruyne missed out on the PFA Player of the Year accolade.
Kevin de Bruyne missed out on the PFA Player of the Year accolade.

KEVIN DE BRUYNE is a hybrid of Paul Scholes and David Beckham, according to former Manchester United defender Gary Neville.

Manchester City midfielder De Bruyne has excelled under Pep Guardiola this season, scoring 11 goals and providing 20 assists in all competitions as the club have won the Premier League and the Carabao Cup.

The Belgium international was narrowly beaten to the PFA Player of the Year award by Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, but Neville cannot speak highly enough of the 26-year-old.

Indeed, Neville, who won numerous trophies with Scholes and Beckham at United, believes that the star has a mixture of the pair’s attributes, and says he has evolved into one of City’s most important players, along with fellow midfield metronome David Silva.

“Jamie Redknapp compared him with Paul Scholes, but I actually think he is a hybrid between Scholes and David Beckham,” Neville said on his own podcast for Sky Sports.

He can cross and pass in a whipped way like Beckham, but he can also strike and drift passes like Scholes. He has that blend of both in terms of how he plays. He’s equally important to this team now as David Silva, and that’s saying something because Silva is a sensational player.

“Jamie Redknapp said Xavi and Andres Iniesta were the best two he’d seen in those forward midfield positions, and you’d have to agree with that, they were the best I’d ever seen, the Barcelona team under Pep Guardiola.

“But Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva are comparable, and that’s saying something, because these are really top players. They don’t waste the ball, they have the intelligence, understanding, it’s really, really high level.

De Bruyne has proven himself to be a big-game player this season, and netted a key goal in September as City beat Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge to underline their title credentials.

Neville believes the goal was a turning point, and also hailed his rasping long-range drive in the 5-0 win over Swansea City at the weekend.

“One of the big moments of the season was De Bruyne’s goal at Chelsea, one of the moments that made me think this is a different type of team this season,” he added.

[The goal against Swansea] was a brilliant, brilliant strike. He has the ability to display different techniques, different types of passes, drifting a pass, bending a pass, whip a cross, and then to strike a ball so true. It can only be through repetition, hours and hours of practice.

“I mentioned on Monday Night Football how Raheem Sterling can improve the accuracy of his strike, and he’s got someone there who he can go out on the training pitch with every day and practice with, to try and get near to that level, because that is the highest standard, it really is.”

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