Kevin De Bruyne has come to the defence of Kyle Walker after Roy Keane had labelled the Manchester City defender “an idiot”.
Those remarks came after Walker gave away a penalty in the 1-1 Premier League draw against Liverpool, with Keane revealing his long-held belief that the right-back is a liability.
The 30-year-old recently reached a century of games for Pep Guardiola’s men, having signed from Tottenham in 2017.
And City teammate De Bruyne has bit back at Keane’s claims.
“I think from the moment that Kyle came to the team, he’s been one of the most consistent performers with us,” De Bruyne said on a report on Goal.
“He’s never injured, he plays all the time. He’s reliable and he’s a really good defender. I think the job that he does is a really good job.
“Obviously when you compare every position it’s different. You can’t compare the work that Kyle does to, for instance, 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 and there’s a reason why he’s playing all these years at this level for all these teams. It means he’s been really good.
“Okay, what Roy Keane says…he’s a different man and everybody knows that. But, okay, it’s his opinion and he’ll take it on the chin. He’s going to be fine with it.”
Southgate also back Walker
Walker has also been defended by England boss Gareth Southgate, who thinks Keane’s comments crossed the line.
“I think he’s playing extremely well. Observations and analysis are fine, I think personal criticism less so. I think we have to be careful about that,” Southgate said of the criticism.
”I’m very happy with what Walker is doing. He’s playing every game for his club because the manager trusts him and feels he needs him. So if he’s doing that for Pep it’s an indication of the quality.”
Walker wasn’t included in the match-day squad for England’s recent 3-0 win over Republic of Ireland with the Three Lions next set to face Belgium in the Nations League on Sunday.