Kevin De Bruyne has insisted that Manchester City teammate Jack Grealish is an easy target for criticism because of the spotlight on English players.
Grealish has been heavily criticised for his form at the start of the season, particularly following a poor performance against Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League, but did silence some critics with his goal in the win over Wolves on Saturday.
When asked about the scrutiny of Grealish's performances and whether or not being an English player in the Premier League is a factor in it, De Bruyne replied: "Yes. It is not about football. Outside of football, the focus is more on them [England players]. I understand because they are English and people tend to look more [at] 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. What he does in his private life he does, nobody should care, but people do."
De Bruyne also discussed how it has taken time for Grealish to adapt to new adapt to the higher expectations at Man City following his £100m move to the club from Aston Villa in 2021.
“With all due respect he was at Villa before and if you lose a game sometimes it is not the end of the world," he added. "But if we lose a game it is different.
"We have to perform every week and win games. That is different and what he has had to adjust to. As long as we win the games and he is doing a good job for us, that is all that matters.”