Former players Robbie Savage and Paul Merson have both suggested that Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne is overrated following his disappointing European performance, the Mirror and Daily Star report.
The Belgium international arrived at City in the summer in a deal worth a staggering £54 million.
De Bruyne had previously been on the books of Chelsea and rarely featured, yet his performances for Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga really caught the eye and prompted City to splash out on his services.
He has enjoyed a solid debut campaign for the Citizens, scoring six goals and posting nine assists in 23 Premier League appearances while playing a key role in the club’s run to the Champions League semi-final.
That said, his display against Real Madrid on the big stage wasn’t particular good, and as a result both Savage and Merson have suggested the direct forward isn’t as good as he is made out to be.
“I was absolutely hammered earlier this season when I said I would pay good money to watch Gareth Bale or Cristiano Ronaldo but not necessarily to watch £54 million Kevin De Bruyne,” Savage wrote in the Mirror.
“What we saw in the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night highlighted exactly what I was saying. Bale showed up on the big occasion, but De Bruyne was only a marginal influence.”
Merson agreed, adding in his column for the Daily Star: “After watching how poor Manchester City were this week I can see now why Jose Mourinho let Kevin De Bruyne go.”
“Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good player. But that was a huge game and he did absolutely nothing. De Bruyne was the worst. He had a chance to put a simple set piece into the danger area, in a game where they’ve had no chances, and he tried to score instead. Unbelievable!”
De Bruyne, despite the criticism heading his way, has displayed plenty of potential this season and it was his goal against Paris Saint-Germain that played a huge part in City advancing to the semi-finals.
The 24-year-old is undoubtedly a top talent, and playing alongside better players and under boss Pep Guardiola should no doubt improve his game especially on the big stage.