Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne has come to the defense of Jack Grealish, saying that the England international is being 'unfairly criticized.' Grealish has not been the player he was at Aston Villa so far during his time at City, adding to the scrutiny he faces.
The 27-year-old was part of the Manchester City XI which thrashed Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-0 at Molineux last weekend.
Manchester City fans criticized Pep Guardiola for starting the player. However, the former Aston Villa winger scored a goal in the first minute of the game to silence his critics.
The Belgium international said that Grealish is a target for critics mainly because English players are often scrutinized for their off-field antics. As seen in the Daily Mail via SPORTbible, he 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. 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.''
De Bruyne said that fans and football observers should not be bothered by what a player does in their personal life. Any criticism should solely be focused upon what he does on the pitch. He added:
“What he does in his private life he does, nobody should care, but people do.”
“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.''
The Belgian midfielder requested Manchester City fans to have patience with Grealish. He further added:
“You know obviously he needed some time to settle in but he is fine. Be patient, I am not too worried.”
Pep Guardiola signed the promising England winger on a six-year contract worth £100 million ahead of the 2021 Premier League season. Since joining the club, Grealish has scored just seven goals and provided four assists in 45 games across tournaments.
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