Kevin De Bruyne reveals exactly why Jose Mourinho got rid of him at Chelsea
Kevin De Bruyne has stoked the theory of thought that he was not given a chance to succeed at Chelsea, saying the “situation never changed” despite promises of first-team football from former manager José Mourinho.
The Belgian international, who left the Blues in 2014 to join Wolfsburg for £18m, scored the goal which propelled Manchester City into the Champions League semi-finals eight months after joining from Die Wölfe in a club-record £58.5m deal last August.
Mourinho has come in for heated criticism for his treatment of players during his second spell at Stamford Bridge, where he lifted a third Premier League title of his career. De Bruyne is joined by Romelu Lukaku, André Schürrle and Ryan Bertrand among an alumni who have excelled away from Chelsea.
“He called in all the attacking midfielders,” said De Bruyne of his final weeks in west London, during an interview with the Daily Telegraph. “He showed us the stats of his six players - assists, goals, passing percentage, key passes, dribbles. He wanted to prove I didn't perform on the level of the others.
“I simply answered him: ‘Sorry, that's not logical. I've played less games than the others. How can you compare me to the others?’ That was just not fair in my eyes.”
Mourinho was more interested in gauging De Bruyne’s appetite to fight for a berth in his starting line-up, however, with Schürrle, Eden Hazard, Willian, Oscar and Juan Mata all competing for superiority. Schürrle and Mata were also sold, for a combined £59.1m, with Cesc Fàbregas and Pedro eventually signing from Barcelona over the following transfer windows.
The former Genk winger is set to face his former employers when City travel to the capital on Saturday evening.
“I wanted to keep him and he told me that it was not in his personality to be competing for a position in the team,” said Mourinho last summer. “He needed a team where he knows he can play every game. He needs to know that he is important. So I was not happy when he left.”
As De Bruyne looks forward to the two-legged semi against Real Madrid, setting up the prospect of City facing fellow semi-finalists Bayern Munich, managed by future manager Pep Guardiola, at the San Siro next month, the 24-year-old has since hit back.
“People who know me, know it's not the truth. A few months later, I was a key player at Wolfsburg and I played a good World Cup. Who's right then? I just like to play football. Put me on a bench and I will feel bad.
“Mourinho told me he wasn't keen to let me go, even not on a loan - 'you're a good player'. But what could I do more? After his press conference in Bucharest I even started training harder, even on my days off. But my situation never changed.
“That's why I asked him in a friendly way: ‘Please let me go.’ Chelsea wanted to loan me out, even wanted me to stay, but I had enough of it. I wanted to leave.”
(© Independent News Service)
Independent News Service