Manuel Pellegrini has backed Kevin De Bruyne to live up to his £54million price tag, with the Manchester City boss claiming people will have forgotten his fee by the end of the season.
De Bruyne joined from Wolfsburg for a club-record fee just ahead of the international break, with many calling into question such a huge price for the 24-year-old whose previous Premier League experience came in a failed spell at Chelsea.
Pellegrini has dismissed both the Belgian’s disappointing spell at Stamford Bridge and the massive fee paid for him, intimating that his form by the end of the season will see the fee obsolete.
“Maybe at the beginning everyone will talk about the price,” said the City boss. “At the end, it’s part of the game for the player to demonstrate why we brought him here.
“There can be cheap players who play very well and maybe expensive players who don’t do so well. I am sure with Kevin De Bruyne at the end of the season no one will remember how much we paid for him.
“It is not the best way to arrive, to go to his national squad. But, in his position, it is more easy maybe to settle in our team.”
De Bruyne could make his debut from the start against Crystal Palace on Saturday in the absence of David Silva. When asked the attacking midfielder’s poor spell at Chelsea, Pellegrini responded: “I’m not concerned about that because I know in the way he plays, in the way our team play, I am sure that in our team he will be very good.”