Kevin De Bruyne downplays concerns over his Manchester City form


Kevin De Bruyne has insisted that there are higher expectations on him compared to other players in the Premier League, as he has responded to criticism over his form.

The Man City midfielder has been one of the best players in the top flight over recent seasons, helping his side to four titles under Pep Guardiola.

However, this campaign there have been questions over his form, with just five starts in his last nine games in all competitions – coming on as a substitute in Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

As reported by the Manchester Evening News, De Bruyne admits he might not be playing at his best, but has no concerns over his form.

He said: ‘Obviously, people have a different standard [for me] to a lot of players. It’s just what it is.

‘People expect me to score every game and assist every game. I think I’ve been playing quite well. Maybe there have been fewer assists but I don’t think I’ve been creating less.

‘I don’t really look at these things. I feel fine. I think I’m playing alright – maybe not the best I’ve every played but it’s good.

‘You know the stats – I’ve created the most in the league and have the most assists and I’ve not even played four or five games. For me, it is the same. I’ve been doing the same thing for eight years here and 15 years in professional football so I’m feeling fine.’

He added: ‘I’m an old man in this game, I know how it is. I’m fine. Obviously you want to play as much as possible but if you don’t play you do the best for 10 minutes and that’s what I did and get the win for the team.’

While some may question whether De Bruyne is playing to his usual high standards, there is no question about his importance to this Man City team.

Though De Bruyne said there ‘may have been fewer assists’ he already has more this season than he did in the last campaign.

So far this season he has 18 across all competitions, compared to the 14 he notched up last season.

However, his goal numbers have dropped significantly with just five this season compared to 18 last year.

A big part of that though could come down to Man City now playing with an out-and-out striker in Erling Haaland, which they didn’t do when they beat Liverpool to the title in 2021-22.

De Bruyne came on as a 79th minute substitution for Bernardo Silva in the weekend’s victory over Crystal Palace.

Man City play RB Leipzig in the second leg of their last-16 Champions League clash on Tuesday, with the score tied at 1-1 going into the game at the Etihad.

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