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Wilmots: I want more from smiling De Bruyne

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots says Kevin De Bruyne can “play better” but is relieved the Manchester City man is now performing with a smile on his face.

De Bruyne has failed to shine at Euro 2016 so far and Wilmots is expecting more of the 24-year when Belgium meet Hungary in the last 16 in Toulouse on Sunday.

He said: “We have talked together and I am waiting for better performances individually from my players. 

“We have shown an improvement to some extent but we can play better link-up football. Now we have to be more efficient because we are in the knockout phase.

“Kevin De Bruyne has been good in the last 20-25 metres but he can still improve. I know he can play better.”

De Bruyne had a fine first season at the Etihad following his move from Wolfsburg for a fee in the region of £51million, a transfer Wilmots claims had an effect on the player’s happiness.

He added: “Kevin could be a key player [against Hungary]. He was not very good against Italy, he was so-so but he’s tried to get better.

“He has asked for the ball a lot [in the games against Republic of Ireland and Sweden]. The final ball isn’t working at the moment but Kevin is smiling again.

“He is a human being, he has emotions. He was transferred for a lot of money and there are a lot of things going on in his life.

“Now I have a smiling guy again. We have to have this kind of guy, one who plays with a smile on his face.”

Sat 25 Jun, 2016
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