Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has insisted that he doesn’t care that the club were unable to sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona this summer.
De Bruyne was in sublime form throughout the 2019/20 season, with the Belgium international equalling Thierry Henry’s longstanding assists record of 20 in a single league campaign. As well as this, he also managed 13 goals. This saw him recently selected as the PFA Players’ Player of the Year.
City have already strengthened this summer, but after Messi declared his desire to leave Barça, reports soon emerged that the Premier League outfit were the frontrunners for his signature. It has now been confirmed that Messi will stay at Camp Nou for another season, but despite the links, De Bruyne has admitted he didn’t follow the updates closely.
“To be honest I didn’t really think about it,” De Bruyne told the Daily Mail. “If it could have happened, it would have happened. If you can get Messi to your team you are always going to do it. I can see it from a playing perspective and especially as a club…I really don’t [care]. If he would have come it would have helped us because, for me, he has been the best player of all time.”
Despite his outstanding displays, De Bruyne couldn’t help Man City to European glory last season, crashing out of the Champions League last term at the quarter-finals stage in a shock defeat to Lyon. After the contest, he claimed it ‘wasn’t good enough’, while manager Pep Guardiola came in for criticism for his tactical approach to the game.
However, De Bruyne has now opened up on his boss’ approach and mindset, admitting that it can be difficult for some to understand as he is stuck in his ways.
He said: “The way he looks at football is different to how many people look at football. He has his philosophy and he stays with it and doesn’t change.
“There is Plan A and there is Plan A. There is no Plan B. For a lot of people that’s difficult to understand. That can happen [players wanting a different approach] in your mind but afterwards you know that Plan A mostly works for us.
“I think everybody is really confident [in the plan] though you are always going to say in any moment of time in a game that you want ‘this’ or ‘this’. Or we should do ‘that’. But that happens in every club.”
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