Pep Guardiola has defended Kevin De Bruyne’s form for Manchester City this season, saying “you cannot imagine how good he is”.
De Bruyne had a disrupted start to the campaign after being injured with Belgium at the European Championship.
He is yet to hit the heights that he has in previous seasons, but Guardiola says he is still working his way back to full fitness and cannot always be at peak level.
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“You cannot imagine how good he is,” said Guardiola ahead of Man City’s Champions League clash with Club Brugge on Wednesday. “When you are playing millions of games, you have highs and lows. I know what he is doing.
“The way he trains. He knows he has our support always. I was a player and you cannot perform incredibly well all the time. He has highs and lows. He knows better than anyone where he can be better. We forget they are human beings. In the last eight or nine years, they have had a three-week holiday every year.
“Fatigue can take influence. For the players, they have the physical strength it is easier. “There is no human being who can play in a creative way every three days. They cannot do it.”
Guardiola was also asked about Ilkay Gundogan’s form and whether he could play a crucial role for City this season.
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“Every player is so important. You have to understand there are injuries and highs and lows in careers. What a player did lasts season doesn't mean he will do it again.
“Ilkay is so important, you know, he is intelligent, always thinking what is best for the team, but he was injured and needs time.
“He is getting better and we need him like we need all the players. He will; be much better in a few months and there are others who need to play now because they are in top form and may drop later. “You have to maintain it every day. That's why these players get credit for the last six years because it’s every day. Tomorrow we have a chance.
“The group stage every year is more tricky. We already lost and now the games at home we have to take it. Tomorrow we have an incredible opportunity to step forward.”
City are second in Group A, one point behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain and two ahead of Brugge.
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