Kevin De Bruyne’s Chelsea exit in 2014 is one of the key moments that will go down in the club’s history. It’s actually one of the biggest ‘what ifs’ at Chelsea for letting the Belgian playmaker walk away from the club and the manager who let it happen, Jose Mourinho, has finally opened up on the situation.
“Kevin is an amazing player, in this moment he is one of the best players in the world, no doubt about it,” Mourinho said on Friday’s talkSPORT Breakfast show.
“My story with Kevin was fun, and in the end it worked very well for him of course.
“I arrived in my second spell at Chelsea and we go to Asia to play some matches and train, and Kevin was supposed to come with us and then leave on loan after the tour.
“He impressed me so much I made the decision, ‘I don’t want this kid to go on loan, I want him to stay’, and in our first match of the Premier League season he started against Hull City, in the second match we go to Old Trafford [and he didn’t play].
“After this he came to me and said, ‘I want to play every match, I want to play every minute’ and the kid that was supposed to go on loan was not not even happy to stay and to grow up in there.”
“So he put a lot of pressure to leave, he wanted to go to Germany where he was previously on loan and was so happy developing in the Bundesliga, and his decision was to go. He put huge pressure on that and it worked very well for him. In the end Chelsea sold him and the story is there.
“The quality of the player is absolutely amazing, he is in the top five in the world, and when he was supposed to leave on loan and I made the decision for him to stay, I saw those qualities. He did not have the experience and maturity he has now, but his feet and his vision were already there.
“But he was not an easy kid, in the sense it was not so easy to communicate with him, he was very clear and it was very difficult to change [his mind].
“He knew very well what he wanted and he was not ready to have that season at Chelsea where a lot of good players were in the same team, he didn’t have that, let’s say, patience to not start every game or be on the bench.
“He was not ready for that, he was coming from a season in Germany where he played basically every minute of every match, and he was happy to accept a situation like that.
“Sometimes us coaches make mistakes, and we don’t consider that this player has the potential to do this in the future, but that was not the case with Kevin.
“I saw he had the potential to do it, but he was just a kid who was very clear in his mind. He knew perfectly what he wanted.”
As a result of his brave decision, Kevin De Bruyne has gone on to become the best playmaker in the world, winning the league thrice with Manchester City.
However, the Belgian hasn’t achieved a Champions League win yet, and perhaps leaving could be a decision he regrets in that regard.