The Belgium and Cityzen’s playmaker started as a sub once again on Saturday evening against Crystal Palace – the third time in the last seven league games he’s been left out of the starting XI by Guardiola thus making his starting role a little off-track than intended.
Kevin De Bruyne has so far struggled to secure a place in Guardiola’s starting XI due to injury and illness, but is still leading the Premier League in assists, chances created, and big chances created despite starting only five games.
The 31-year-old has downplayed any concerns about his form by highlighting his exceptional Premier League record this season.
“Obviously, people have a different standard [for me] to a lot of players. It’s just what it is,” he said.
“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 ever 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”.
“I expect more from myself than you guys will ever do. You know what people are going to say outside but there’s no pressure. I play football because I like it, not because I have to, so it’s good.”
Guardiola’s transition to Erling Haaland spearheading their attack after two years without a centre-forward will require De Bruyne to adapt, but he doesn’t feel he has to do anything different.
“Whenever I go on the pitch I try to do what I do always. I don’t feel that I necessarily have to do something different,” he said.
“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.”
“I don’t have to do anything different. People know who I am after eight years, know what I do for the team, what I’m good at and what I’m not good at. I don’t want to do different things that I’m not good at on and off the pitch. Everyone has his role to play and that’s really important to maintain your role.”