Kevin De Bruyne defends John Stones: Difficult for England to play like Manchester City
Belgium midfielder also says Eden Hazard has earned a move to Real Madrid
By Dan Sansom
Last Updated: 07/06/19 5:15pm
Kevin De Bruyne defended John Stones for his performance against the Netherlands, suggesting it is difficult for England to play like Manchester City.
Stones was involved in all three goals during England's 3-1 defeat in the Nations League semi-final on Thursday, raising questions over their ability to play out from the back.
Gareth Southgate has since insisted England will not change their style, but De Bruyne believes it is easier for Stones to play that way at City.
"When you play in a team like we do at City we are used to playing out from the back and we give each other options," De Bruyne said.
"To go to another team and try to do the same where you don't get the options that you get in your normal team, it's very difficult to play differently.
Southgate won't change England's style
Gareth Southgate says England will still play out from the back despite two costly errors in the Nations League semi-final defeat to the Netherlands
"I think everybody knows what John's strengths are but obviously he can't do it by himself, he needs the help there and I think that's also what happened with the third goal.
"The ball that he gave to Barkley, with [City] it would be fine because that ball would probably go to Fernandinho, [Ilkay] Gundogan or to the 'keeper and we'd play out from the back.
"That's something we are used to, we've trained like it now every day for three years so I think people have to look at the full concept, but obviously when you make a mistake people will judge you."
De Bruyne also praised his international team-mate Eden Hazard ahead of Belgium's European Qualifier against Kazakhstan on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Football Red Button.
Hazard is close to moving to Real Madrid after the club agreed a deal with Chelsea worth an initial £88m, and De Bruyne says the forward deserves a potential move to the Spanish giants.
"If you do well and these teams come for you, you have earned the right to play there otherwise these teams would not come after you, so in that respect I think he has earned his transfer," he added.