Kevin De Bruyne has been hailed as Manchester City’s future by Sheikh Mansour’s right-hand man.
De Bruyne has blossomed into one of the world’s best players and beat all of Liverpool ’s title winners to be crowned the Premier League Player of the Season.
He equalled Thierry Henry’s Premier League record of 20 assists in one season and finished with 22 in all competitions, plus 16 goals.
De Bruyne, 29, has emerged as a leader for City and is ready to step into the void left by departed captain David Silva.
Blues chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak was delighted by De Bruyne’s Premier League award and says the Belgium star represents the club’s future.
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“I was very pleased,” he said. “Very pleased because it is so well deserved. It was a combination of being pleased, but also a bit relieved.
“I was worried because we have seen it before with City players, them being overlooked for this very important award and I was worried that Kevin would be overlooked this year, because in my view it was unquestionable.
“My vote was clear, obviously it is subjective because of who he plays for, but Kevin is the best player in the league this year.
“He’s earned it, he’s shown it and I’m glad he got this appreciation and respect from the football world.
“He has become and important leader of this group. He is really the future of MCFC and all I can say it is well deserved and well earned.”
This summer is one of transition for City with Silva, their most-decorated player, and Leroy Sane leaving and they must rebuild after the disappointment of last season.
Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres have arrived for a combined £62million as City try to close the gap on Liverpool and Khaldoon says they will sign more players.
“We don’t take a one-year view, we take a three, five, 10-year view and when we look at what changes or improvements we have to make for this squad, we’ll be sensible and pragmatic about it, but we will do what it takes,” he said.
“I think you’ve seen when it comes to the two acquisitions we have made, Ake and Ferran Torres, we moved quickly.
“There are additional players we will be bringing in and we will stick to the plan, obviously within the realities of the market that we live in today.”
Khaldoon claims City target younger players, aged between 20 and 25, but added they would make an exception for an older one if Pep Guardiola wanted him.
This could be seen as a nod in the direction of Kalidou Koulibaly, although not at Napoli’s £80million asking price for the 29-year-old defensive linchpin.
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“If you look at the acquisitions we have made over the past couple of years, there’s a consistency in the type of player we have targeted in terms of age and quality,” said Khaldoon.
“So we will continue down that road, but at the same time, sometimes opportunities come up that fit with what the manager wants that might be out of that box.
“If that’s the case, we’re pragmatic enough to make that move.”
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