Kevin De Bruyne has revealed why his teammate and Manchester City star Jack Grealish is treated with such harsh judgement by the media, relative to other players in the Premier League.
The former Aston Villa captain made the switch from Birmingham to Manchester last summer for a Premier League record £100million fee. Since then, Grealish has made 45 appearances for the Sky Blues, racking up a disappointing 7 goals and 4 assists in that time.
Belgian International and City player Kevin De Bruyne believes the media focus too much on Grealish because he’s English. Speaking after their victory over Wolves on Saturday, KDB said (quotes via The Athletic): “Outside of football, the focus is more on them (the English players).
“I understand because they are English and people tend to look more what is happening.
“I feel like foreign players, for instance, if you have a night out, we don’t really get checked that often. Whereas I feel if an English player goes out, it is always in the media somewhere.
“I think people are taking this on board. What he does in his private life, nobody should care, but people do.
“But there are a lot of obstacles coming around with moving clubs and houses and whatever. You know obviously he needed some time to settle in but he is fine. Be patient, I am not too worried.”
Man City manager Pep Guardiola seems to share the same thoughts as De Bruyne, as he tried to avert pressure away from Grealish during the build-up to the Wolves game on the weekend past.
“We didn’t sign him for the incredible goals or assist,” said Guardiola (quotes via The Athletic).
“I want him to make goals and I want assists and he does too, but it’s not about that, it’s about his contribution without the ball, and what he can produce for the other ones and the many, many things that he’s able to do.”
After responding to criticism for the time being with a goal in the opening minute of the game at Molineux on Saturday, Grealish spoke afterwards, seemingly disagreeing with his coach’s comments.
“I think rightly so,” said the England International in response to a question regarding whether the criticism of him is warranted. “I should be scoring more, I should be getting more assists. The only thing I can do is score and get assists.”
“The main (things) are the goals and the assists. They are the ones I am trying to work on the most.” Grealish bagged his first goal of the season against Wolves on the weekend, and will be hoping it serves as the catalyst for many more goal contributions this season in an attempt to justify his price tag.