Jack Grealish continues to have the support of Kevin De Bruyne at Manchester City.

Kevin De Bruyne thinks criticism of Jack Grealish isn’t about football, and the intensity is due to his playing for England.

Grealish transferred to Manchester City for a British record price of £100million in 2021, but he has not yet produced the same results as he did at Aston Villa.

In 26 Premier League appearances for Villa in 2020-21, Grealish scored three goals and provided three assists in his first City campaign.

The England winger scored his first goal in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Wolves.

De Bruyne’s cross set up City’s early opener, and the midfielder has defended his teammate, whose lifestyle has also raised questions since joining the side.

“It is not about football,” Bruyne explained. “Outside of football, the focus is more on [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 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.”

Grealish played a different role at City, having created 81 chances in his final season at Villa but only 53 last year.

In addition, De Bruyne points out that contrasting expectations are playing for the champions, which means Grealish should get more time to adjust.

“With all due respect, he was at Villa before, and if you lose a game, sometimes it is not the end of the world,” De Bruyne said. “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”. He explained.

“As long as we win the games and he is doing a good job for us, that is all that matters.”

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