Data-driven De Bruyne key to breaking Man City’s Champions League complex

De Bruyne showed he is no ordinary player off the pitch as well as on it during the negotiations.

The 29-year-old did not use an agent and instead worked with analytics companies to show the data that backed up his claim to be the key figure in City’s success.

CEO of Analytics FC, Jeremy Steele, told The Athletic: “After discussing the scope of the work, De Bruyne commissioned us to create a report studying almost every aspect of his contribution to the club.”

Among the data crunched was how drastically City’s chances of winning the Champions League for the first time would be reduced should they lose De Bruyne.

Guardiola’s men got a sense of what life without him might be like as they slumped to just a fourth defeat in 49 games this season to Leeds on Saturday.

Even with City trailing against 10-men, Guardiola kept his midfield maestro on the bench for the full 90 minutes in a clear signal of intent that his priority lies in Dortmund this week.

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