Kevin De Bruyne says Grealish gets criticism because he is English

‘If an English player goes out, it is ALWAYS in the media’: Kevin De Bruyne claims Man City team-mate Jack Grealish has been unfairly criticised and insists £100m star would not have the same scrutiny if he was foreign

  • Kevin de Bruyne has come to the defence of Man City teammate Jack Grealish 
  • The 27-year-old scored his first goal of the season on Saturday against Wolves
  • Grealish has been in the spotlight since his £100m move from Aston Villa in 2021
  • De Bruyne is empathetic to his teammate moving away from home 

Kevin de Bruyne has launched a defence of Manchester City teammate Jack Grealish, claiming he has been unfairly criticised for his recent form just because he is English. 

The 27-year-old winger became City’s record transfer in 2021, joining the club from Aston Villa for a fee of £100 million after he shone as one of England’s most exciting young talents during Euro 2020.

But Grealish has had a difficult start to life at the Etihad, contributing just six goals and four assists last season despite making 39 appearances for the club. 

Jack Grealish celebrates his first goal of the season on Saturday against Wolves at Molineux

The England international scored his first goal of the new season on Saturday, connecting with a cross from De Bruyne to score in the opening minute of City’s City’s 3-0 win over Wolves at Molineux.

Despite his underwhelming start to the season, scoring in one of six appearances for City while failing to register an assist, Grealish attracted a lot of attention for his off-field activities over the summer.

Photos emerged of him enjoying himself in Manchester, Ibiza and Las Vegas during the off-season and the 27-year-old was also seen partying hard after City claimed the league title back in May. 

Grealish and Sky presenter Micah Richards at the Amir Khan v Kell Brook fight in February

Grealish and Bernardo Silva celebrate winning the Premier League title in May

While his high price tag hasn’t helped the situation, De Bruyne has come to his defence admitting he is not worried about Grealish and that he has faced unfair criticism in the past.   

The Belgian said: ‘It is not about football. Outside of football, the focus is more on them [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.

Kevin De Bruyne celebrates with Grealish after providing the assist for the No.10’s goal

‘Whereas I feel if an English player goes out, it is always in the media somewhere. I think people are taking this on board also.

‘What he does in his private life he does, nobody should care, but people do.’

Pep Guardiola also came to the defence of the forward during a press conference on Friday replacing Grealish just after half-time during City’s Champions League win against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night. 

The Spaniard claimed he was happy with how the winger is progressing and believes that it will not be long before Grealish is back to the momentum he was at the beginning of last season. 

Pep Guardiola speaks to Grealish during City’s Champions League game against Sevilla

De Bruyne meanwhile was sympathetic to his teammate, and called for patience, arguing that nobody truly understood the obstacles Grealish faced with moving to Manchester and the severity of the injuries he has struggled with this year. 

‘I don’t feel anybody necessarily thinks about how he felt moving away for the first time and people think it is always easy to do that. But there are a lot of obstacles coming around with moving clubs and houses and whatever,’ he said  

‘You know obviously he needed some time to settle in but he is fine. Be patient, I am not too worried.’ 

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