Guardiola wants more from De Bruyne: ‘He’s not playing at his top level’

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Kevin De Bruyne has netted two goals and provided nine assists this Premier League season but Pep Guardiola says he can go to another level.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola wants more from Kevin De Bruyne who he says is not playing at his top level despite a stunning goal in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

The two-time Premier League player of the season curled in City’s third goal from just outside the box to seal the points in the 75th minute.

Since making his Premier League debut for City in September 2015, De Bruyne has scored more goals from outside the box than any other player in the competition (24).

The goal was the 31-year-old Belgian’s second of the Premier League season and he also added nine assists, yet Guardiola expects more.

“He can be better. He is not playing at his highest level, not yet,” Guardiola told reporters.

“He scored a fantastic goal but he’s not at his best. He knows it. I don’t have to tell him. His dynamics are still not perfect, he knows that. I spoke to him. The goal is excellent.”

“Thanks to him we didn’t suffer in the last 15, 20 minutes when the game was more open… Kevin made a masterful move so we won the game.”

Erling Haaland continued his remarkable form with a first-half double, making him the first City player to score in seven consecutive home games in all competitions since Sergio Aguero in February 2018.

The Norwegian showed his pace and physicality to open the scoring in the 22nd minute before emphatically converting a penalty in the 43rd minute with a powerful strike.

“I would say [Haaland]] has quality in bigger spaces, he can do it and he can do it in smaller spaces,” Guardiola said. “That’s the reality.

“He’s fantastic. The numbers and everything, the way he took the penalty, the quality, he did it.

Haaland’s 2-0 goal was City’s 600th Premier League goal under Guardiola, making him the third manager to do so after Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.

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