Kevin De Bruyne, Thiago Alcantara or Paul Pogba – which Premier League midfielder comes out on top?

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The Premier League has had an outstanding roster of midfielders over the years, but the current crop of elite stars has brought a technical level that the British elite have never seen before.

The likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Michael Carrick were fantastic players in the early 2000s, but their midfield styles had already been replicated in previous generations.

There were also some fantastic personalities around this time, like Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira, and Paul Scholes – all of whom exuded courage, passion and defensive shrewdness to complement their aggressive temperaments.

Kevin De Bruyne is not only one of the best midfielders in the league, but one of the best players in Europe

Paul Pogba and Kevin De Bruyne are two of the Premier League’s best midfielders

Although as midfielders such as David Silva, Cesc Fabregas and Cie have taken the Premier League to a more technical and flair type of midfielder, England’s top flight can now boast of three of the best midfielders in the world.

Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Manchester United’s Paul Pogba were the two top midfielders in the top flight before this summer.

Enter the stage right Thiago Alcantara, who made a £ 25million transfer to champions Liverpool from Bayern Munich earlier this month.

Thiago Alcantara's arrival at Liverpool means England's top flight has the best midfielders

Thiago Alcantara’s arrival at Liverpool means England’s top flight has the best midfielders

The three players clearly have very different styles. De Bruyne is the modern and classic ‘number eight’ and puts more emphasis on the attack from Pep Guardiola’s side.

Meanwhile, Thiago is expected to be one of Liverpool’s deepest midfielders due to his status as one of the best ball progressors in world football, with Paul Pogba having more of a ‘free role’ in the game. United’s formation as he shares creativity. charge with Bruno Fernandes.

With three of England’s biggest clubs having their separate all-star midfielders, Sports messaging analyzes Opta statistics to see which of the three is the best intermediary in the Premier League …

ATTACK STATISTICS

There is no doubt that the best player in front of goal is among the three.

Kevin De Bruyne has a Premier League record 14 goals and 21 assists since the start of last season, while Thiago (in the Bundesliga) and Pogba haven’t even scored five in the two totals.

Since the start of last season, the Manchester City star has also provided a goal or assist every 88 minutes, which is on a whole different level than Pogba (357 minutes) and Thiago (605 minutes).

While playing over 1,000 minutes longer than his Premier League rivals, De Bruyne also managed to create over 140 clear chances, with Thiago and Pogba surpassing 50 combined.

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne averages one goal or assist every 88 minutes

Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne averages one goal or assist every 88 minutes

Although one area where the Belgian maestro is weaker than his rivals is in the dribbling department.

Thiago and Pogba both managed to carry the ball better than De Bruyne last season despite having fewer matches.

Thiago even managed to complete more dribbles than the City man and managed to accomplish 83.5% of his catches, compared to just 55 for De Bruyne.

Even Pogba, who is often criticized by his own supporters for being too passive, taking too many touches or giving the ball away has a 64.4 success rate in dribbling.

New Liverpool signing Thiago showed he has the best dribbling statistics out of the three

New Liverpool signing Thiago showed he has the best dribbling statistics out of the three

Thiago and Pogba also have better shooting accuracy than De Bruyne, although the Belgian had almost ten times more shots than his two rivals last season due to his attacking role in Guardiola’s side.

De Bruyne is therefore clearly the winner in the final third and although Thiago is not too far behind the Manchester City man from an attacking point of view, the former Bayern is disappointed with his deeper role in midfield .

Attack notes: Thiago (7/10), De Bruyne (9/10), Pogba (6/10)

DEFENSIVE STATISTICS

Usually sitting deeper on the three, Liverpool’s Thiago is the best defensive player who demonstrated expert tracking skills for Bayern Munich last season.

Since the start of the 2019-20 campaign, the Spaniard has led the way in terms of interceptions, tackles and recoveries against his two rivals. The new Liverpool number six is ​​also averaging more successful tackles (1.84) per game than De Bruyne (1.44) and Pogba (1.31).

That being said, De Bruyne has still shown he has good defensive actions in terms of pressing.

As the Belgian often finds himself at the top of the pitch, he has to be part of Guardiola’s intense pressing style that was discovered when the Spain coach was at Barcelona in the early 2010s.

Thiago (right) also has the best defensive stats in terms of interceptions and tackles

Thiago (right) also has the best defensive stats in terms of interceptions and tackles

Since last August, De Bruyne has won the ball in the final third on 37 occasions – twice as many as Thiago while Pogba has only managed it five times.

While the Manchester United man has lower stats than the other two players due to his long-term injury concerns and growing transfer speculation last season, one area Pogba excels in is not allowing to his opponents to dribble in front of him.

Since last August, France’s World Cup winner has only been beaten 10 times, on average 0.52 times per game. De Bruyne and Thiago were dribbled twice as many times per game, showing that the 6-foot-2 frame is a useful asset for United.

Defensive Notes: Thiago 9/10, De Bruyne 8/10, Pogba 7/10

One area where Pogba excels is not allowing his opponents to easily dribble past him

One area where Pogba excels is not allowing his opponents to easily dribble past him

PASSAGE STATISTICS

Once again, Thiago wins from a passing point of view.

The new Liverpool star has 90.5% passing accuracy after playing just 106 fewer passes than De Bruyne in the past 12 months, with accuracy 81.3% of the time.

Thiago also averages more assists per game (75) than Pogba (61) and De Bruyne (53). His desire to take the ball and give it to other teammates was clear in his debut with Jurgen Klopp, as he outscored all Chelsea players on the pitch despite only playing 45 minutes.

Thiago's Liverpool debut showed why he is one of the best progressors and passers of the ball

Thiago’s Liverpool debut showed why he is one of the best progressors and passers of the ball

De Bruyne tries harder passes, however, which is why his success rate is lower.

De Bruyne tries harder passes, however, which is why his success rate is lower.

The Spanish midfielder also managed to make about the same number of assists in the final third (256) as the Manchester City man (276) despite playing fewer games than De Bruyne and also adopting a more position. deep in midfield.

This implies that Thiago is as good as finding attackers from his more defensive position than De Bruyne, who is playing higher up the pitch.

One potential reason for De Bruyne’s inferiority in this department is due to the type of passing he makes. The Belgian is much more ambitious in this department thanks to his slightly longer, inflated and floating balls, while Thiago likes to play the ball on his feet.

Pogba can boast of having a better success rate than Manchester City's De Bruyne

Pogba can boast of having a better success rate than Manchester City’s De Bruyne

The Belgian has played 447 passes in the penalty area since last August, a figure that includes crosses that are naturally riskier. In contrast, Thiago only made 53 of those passes while Pogba made 52.

The Manchester United midfielder’s passing statistics are harder to analyze given he has only appeared in 19 games. That being said, he had a better success rate (84%) than De Bruyne.

Notes de passage: Thiago 9/10, De Bruyne 9/10, Pogba 7/10

TOTAL: Thiago 25/30, De Bruyne 26/30, Pogba: 20/30

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