De Bruyne a more complete player than Salah – Hughton
The Brighton boss believes the Manchester City ace could play for any team in the world.
Kevin De Bruyne is a better all-round footballer than Mohamed Salah and could play for any club in the world, according to Brighton boss Chris Hughton.
De Bruyne has been instrumental in Manchester City’s impressive Premier League title success but was beaten to both the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year awards by Liverpool’s prolific top scorer Salah.
Albion face the in-form duo in a daunting end to the season, with Wednesday’s visit to the Etihad Stadium followed by a trip to Anfield on Sunday.
And, while Hughton has great admiration for both men, he thinks Belgium international De Bruyne just has the edge.
“For me, De Bruyne’s the more complete player and I think it’s taken an exceptional season from Salah to win the awards ahead of De Bruyne,” said Hughton.
“The progress that De Bruyne has made in the last couple of seasons has been huge and the player that I think could play for any team in the world.
“But Salah’s been exceptional and I think it would be probably so unusual and unjust to take it away from him; to score that many goals in one season in the way that the game is now and how competitive the game is now, I think speaks volumes for the way Liverpool play and for him as an individual.
“But for me, De Bruyne is the most complete player.”
Egypt international Salah has enjoyed a remarkable debut season with Jurgen Klopp’s side.
The pacey forward has hit 43 goals following his summer move from Serie A club Roma, including 31 in the league.
Despite rating De Bruyne more highly, Hughton believes former Chelsea man Salah may be more difficult to shackle.
“Salah scores goals at will and I suppose it’s goals that make you lose games and, of course, win games so Salah’s probably more dangerous in that final third,” added Hughton.
“But it’s difficult to say because they are both such exceptional players.”
Brighton travel to the north west free from pressure having secured their top flight status by beating Manchester United on Friday evening.
The Seagulls began life back in the top flight following a 34-year exile with a 2-0 defeat to Pep Guardiola’s City at the Amex Stadium in August.
Hughton feels his team have since shown they have the ability to compete in the Premier League.
“I think we have improved, I think we have adjusted to the league well,” said Hughton.
“Overall I’ve been delighted with the progress we’ve made since that day.”