De Bruyne defends Man City team-mate Walker after Keane criticism

Kevin De Bruyne defends Man City team-mate Kyle Walker after Roy Keane labelled him an ‘idiot’ and ‘car crash’ for giving away a penalty… as midfielder insists the right back is ‘one of the most consistent performers’

  • Kyle Walker fouled Sadio Mane to concede a penalty that saw Liverpool go 1-0 up
  • Roy Keane was fiercely critical of Walker following the incident early in the game
  • Kevin De Bruyne missed a penalty in the match and has defended his team-mate 
  • De Bruyne and Walker could face each other in the Nations League on Sunday 

Belgium’s Kevin De Bruyne has dismissed criticism of Manchester City team-mate Kyle Walker by ‘different’ TV pundit Roy Keane.

De Bruyne faces Walker on Sunday on international duty in the Nations League, but it didn’t stop him backing the defender after accusations made by Keane that he was a ‘car crash’ for conceding a penalty against Liverpool last weekend that saw Jurgen Klopp’s side take the lead in the 13th minute through Mohamed Salah. 

‘From the moment Kyle came to the team, he has been one of the most consistent performers with us,’ said De Bruyne, who missed a penalty just before half-time as the game finished 1-1.

Kyle Walker clipped Sadio Mane to concede a penalty which Mohamed Salah slotted home

Kevin De Bruyne has defended his team-mate after Roy Keane’s criticism on Sky Sports

‘He is never injured, he plays all the time. He is reliable and is a really good defender. I think the job he does is really good.

‘You can’t compare the work that Kyle does to Trent Alexander-Arnold at Liverpool. Trent is the more offensive player and Kyle has to play a different role for us, but he does it really well.

‘There is a reason why he is playing all these years at this level for all these teams.’

Keane has become a popular pundit with his outspoken criticisms and also said Walker ‘will never learn’, but De Bruyne says the players themselves don’t take it seriously.

‘What Roy Keane says, he is a different man and everybody knows that,’ said the midfielder. ‘But OK, it is his opinion and take it on the chin. He (Walker) is going to be fine with it.’

De Bruyne missed the first two City games after the previous international break because of a muscular injury.

De Bruyne may come up against City team-mate Walker when Belgium welcome England

The 29-year-old revealed he had a problem going into the 2-1 defeat against England last month, but insisted playing 73 minutes at Wembley hadn’t worsened the situation.

‘I had a scan two days before the game, but it was not a lot of info there because it was too close after training.

‘That scan said it could be OK, but the scan I took two days after England showed that I had multiple minor injuries.

Eden Hazard tested positive for Covid-19 last weekend and will not face England in Brussels

‘That is the decision I took here with Belgium (to play v England) and it was my decision. It didn’t make it any worse, but I don’t think the picture we could see at that moment was clear enough to know exactly what the injury was at the time.’

De Bruyne returned a fortnight later against West Ham United, but the revelation will still concern City boss Pep Guardiola.

Sunday’s game in Brussels will be Roberto Martinez’s 50th in charge of Belgium. Eden Hazard is unavailable after testing positive for Covid-19 at club side Real Madrid last weekend.

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