Kevin De Bruyne claims to take greater pleasure from providing assists than he does from netting for Manchester City himself.
The Belgium international returned to English football for £55 million in the summer of 2015 having put a forgettable stint at
Chelsea behind him to build a reputation as one of the finest creative influences in Europe.
City have seen their sizeable investment richly rewarded, with nobody in the Premier League able to match De Bruyne’s figures when it comes to creating opportunities for others.
In total, he has delivered 25 goals and 45 assists in 104 appearances, with the 26-year-old proud to have teed up his team-mates on so many occasions.
He told Sky Sports: “I always like to assist more than scoring. It gives me another feeling.
“When you score it’s a great feeling but to give a great pass means it’s something special for me. It’s very under-rated what we do.”
De Bruyne added on his role: “Sometimes you just square the ball and somebody else shoots, but some assists are so nice and the passing is very important.
“We creators have a thing with the attackers. If they don’t score you think: ‘Uh! I did such a great job and you’re messing it up’. If we give a bad pass they’re going to say: ‘What are you doing?’”
While happy to be providing the ammunition for others, with a Premier League-leading six assists provided so far this season, De Bruyne admits that he is also hoping to top up his own goal tally.
“I try to get more goals, but I’m not particularly looking at that,” he said.
“In my first season at City I scored 16 and I had never done that before. Now it’s more difficult.
“Last season I had a lot that I missed — all the posts and crossbars I hit were from long-range. Then it’s more like luck. It happens.
“I try to chip in, but I also know the amount of goals we’re scoring, I don’t really care.”
City have become one of the most fearsome sides in world football going forward, with Pep Guardiola at the helm of a team that boasts the goal-getting talents of Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane, among others.
All of those, along with De Bruyne, will be hoping to hit top gear once again in their next outing, with Arsenal visiting the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.