Ferdinand says De Bruyne is among the Premier League's greatest-ever

Rio Ferdinand believes Kevin De Bruyne is already among the Premier League’s greatest-ever midfielders after he matched Steven Gerrard’s assists tally in 287 fewer games… as he says the Belgian would be able to get the better of Vieira or Scholes

  • Kevin De Bruyne racked up his 92nd Premier League assist in win over Wolves
  • That matched the tally of Liverpool great Steven Gerrard in the competition
  • But Manchester City star De Bruyne reached the total in 287 fewer games
  • Legend Rio Ferdinand believes Belgian has a claim to be best-ever midfielder
  • He said De Bruyne would hold his own playing with or against all the greats 

Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne could hold his own playing in or against any midfield in the Premier League era.

The Belgian equalled Steven Gerrard’s Premier League assists total when City won 3-0 at Wolves on Saturday, setting up his 91st and 92nd goals in the competition.

But, remarkably, De Bruyne has matched the record in 287 games fewer than Gerrard did for Liverpool.

Kevin De Bruyne has been hailed as one of the Premier League’s greatest-ever midfielders

Rio Ferdinand believes De Bruyne is already up there with Chelsea legend Frank Lampard (left) and Liverpool hero Steven Gerrard (right) – seen together playing for England

Ferdinand discussed the great Premier League midfielders after De Bruyne matched Gerrard’s tally of 92 assists in the competition at the weekend

He still has some way to go to match the Premier League record of 162 by Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs, with the likes of David Silva, Dennis Bergkamp, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Cesc Fabregas next in his sights.

And Ferdinand believes De Bruyne is a match for legends Gerrard, Lampard, Paul Scholes, Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane when it comes to judging the Premier League’s best-ever midfielder.

‘He has just equalled Gerrard in terms of assists in the Premier League, but in far less games,’ Ferdinand said on his FIVE YouTube show. ‘He still has some way to go to equal Cesc, Giggs, Lampard.

‘Say if Frank, Stevie, Scholesy, Vieira, Keane were playing against Kevin De Bruyne now, it would be interesting.

Roy Keane (left) and Patrick Vieira (right) were thrown into the best midfielder debate although De Bruyne is certainly from a different mould to the combative duo

Paul Scholes must also be included in the conversation about greatest midfielders 

‘The game is different. Would De Bruyne be able to play in a two-man midfield against a Vieira or Scholes? Would he be as effective?

‘I think De Bruyne would. His capacity to run, his dynamism, his ability on the ball. Only [David] Beckham passes the ball better on the run, crossing-wise.’

Assist king De Bruyne has already created eight goals for City this season – six in the Premier League and two in the Champions League – as well as scoring in the 4-0 win over Bournemouth.

De Bruyne was also praised for his crossing ability while on the run by Ferdinand 

His two assists in the win at Molineux took reigning champions City top of the Premier League table but they were overtaken by Arsenal 24 hours later after the Gunners won 3-0 at Brentford.

De Bruyne is now on international duty with Belgium as they prepare to take on Wales and Holland in the UEFA Nations League.

They currently trail the Dutch by three points in League A4 of the competition with only the group winner advancing to next summer’s finals.

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