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Kevin De Bruyne has leapt to Jack Grealish's defence after Manchester City's record signing starred against Wolves at the Molineux Stadium this weekend.
Grealish was perhaps the standout player on the pitch from both sides as Pep Guardiola's side maintained an unbeaten start to their title defence.
De Bruyne came out in support of teammate Jack Grealish for all the criticism he received at Manchester City since his record-breaking switch from Aston Villa to the Etihad Stadium last summer.
For starters, the England international got City off the mark with a tap-in from close quarters, courtesy of an inch-perfect Kevin De Bruyne delivery.
Judging his overall display as well, the 27-year-old was a lot more direct than usual, beating defenders for fun, creating a number of chances and thriving in a freer role at the Molineux Stadium.
During his time so far at City however, Grealish has been slated left, right and centre for not living up to his staggering £100 million price-tag.
A major factor behind the criticism has been Grealish's tally of goals and assists at City and how he has failed to replicate his heroics from his time at Villa in Manchester.
However, De Bruyne believes the criticism comes with the price tag and that the modern game often sees players assessed solely on their returns in front of goal.
“We work in a day and age where everyone talks just about goals and assists, but there is a lot that goes on in football and we win a lot of games," De Bruyne said, as quoted by Jack Gaughan of the Daily Mail.
"With all due respect, he was at (Aston) Villa before and if you lose a game sometimes it's not the end of the world. "But if we lose a game, it's different. We have to perform every week. That is the difference 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. Obviously, he needed some time to settle in but he is fine. Be patient, I am not too worried.”
The City vice-captain also addressed the off-the-pitch criticism Grealish has received, due to being pictured partying at nightclubs and holiday destinations.
Grealish added: “It is not about football. I understand because they are English and people tend to look more into what is happening. Outside of football, the focus is more on them.
"I feel like foreign players, for instance if you have a night out, we don’t really get checked that often. Whereas if an English player goes out, what he does in his private life, nobody should care but people do.”
With an all-time great in De Bruyne clearly being a big believer in Grealish’s character and ability, Manchester City supporters would be best placed in sharing his feelings.