‘When an English player goes out it’s ALWAYS in the media’: Kevin De Bruyne claims Man City team-mate Jack Grealish has been unfairly criticized and insists the £100m star isn’t facing the same scrutiny would receive if he were a foreigner
- Kevin de Bruyne has come to the defense of Man City team-mate Jack Grealish
- The 27-year-old scored his first goal of the season against Wolves on Saturday
- Grealish has been in the spotlight since his £100m move from Aston Villa in 2021
- De Bruyne shows understanding that his team-mate is moving away from home
Kevin de Bruyne has launched a defense of Manchester City team-mate Jack Grealish, claiming he has been unfairly criticized for his recent form simply because he is English.
The 27-year-old winger became City’s record signing in 2021, joining the club from Aston Villa for a fee of £100m after shining at Euro 2020 as one of England’s most exciting young talents.
But Grealish had a difficult start in life at 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 against Wolves at Molineux on Saturday
The England international scored his first goal of the new season on Saturday after slotting in a De Bruyne cross in the opening minute of City’s City’s 3-0 win over Wolves at Molineux.
Despite his stunning start to the season, which saw him score in one of six games for City without recording an assist, Grealish attracted plenty of attention for his off-field activities over the summer.
Photos have surfaced of him enjoying himself in Manchester, Ibiza and Las Vegas during the off-season and the 27-year-old was also spotted partying after City won the league title in May.
Grealish and Sky presenter Micah Richards at the fight between Amir Khan and Kell Brook in February
Grealish and Bernardo Silva celebrate winning the Premier League title in May
While his hefty price tag hasn’t helped the situation, De Bruyne has come to his defense, admitting he’s not worried about Grealish and that he’s faced unfair criticism in the past.
The Belgian said: “It’s not about football. Outside of football, they tend to be the focus [English players].
“I understand because they’re English and people tend to pay more attention to what’s happening. I feel like foreign players, for example when you go out in the evening we are not checked very often.
Kevin De Bruyne celebrates with Grealish after providing the assist for the No 10 goal
“While I get the feeling when an England player goes out, it’s always in the media somewhere. I think people are taking that on board too.
“What he does in his private life shouldn’t interest anyone, but people do.”
Pep Guardiola defended the striker during a press conference on Friday and replaced Grealish just after half-time in City’s Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night.
The Spaniard claimed he is happy with the winger’s development and believes it won’t be long before Grealish returns to the momentum he had at the start of last season.
Pep Guardiola talks to Grealish during City’s Champions League game against Sevilla
De Bruyne, meanwhile, sympathized with his teammate and urged patience. He argued that nobody really understands the obstacles Grealish has faced in his move to Manchester and the severity of the injuries he has struggled with this year.
“I don’t think anyone necessarily thinks about how they felt when they first moved away, and people think that’s always easy to do. But there’s a lot of obstacles when clubs and houses move and whatever,” he said
“You know, he obviously needed some time to settle in, but he’s fine. Be patient, I’m not too worried.’