Kevin de Bruyne is the odds-on favourite to win the PFA Player of the Year at the end of the season – and it’s not hard to see why.
With Manchester City sitting eight points clear at the top of the Premier League, the Belgian has played a key role in that with some incredible performances. The 26-year-old has established himself as one of the best midfielders in world football and Chelsea must be seriously regretting letting him leave the club back in 2014.
Two years previously, the west London club signed De Bruyne from Genk for around £7 million. At the time, he was a relatively unknown player but Chelsea backed him with a five-and-a-half-year contract.
But De Bruyne returned to Genk on-loan for the remainder of the season – and then went out on loan to Werder Breman in the following campaign after the club decided he wasn’t quite ready for first-team football.
De Bruyne was finally given an opportunity by Jose Mourinho at Chelsea at the start of the 2013/14 season. And he made his long-awaited debut against Hull on the opening weekend of the season.
But how did he do?
Well, you might be surprised to discover that he was actually Man of the Match. And in the last few days, an individual highlights video has emerged of his virtuoso display against Hull. He provided a brilliant assist for Oscar by nutmegging a Hull defender with a pass and pulled the strings in the Chelsea midfield during his 66 minutes on the pitch.
Sky Sports’ co-commentator Alan Smith even claimed that: “He’s going to be a favourite here, this lad” during his performance.
Watch: De Bruyne’s highlights on his Chelsea debut
Take a look:
Chelsea fans react
And after the video was only posted recently, Chelsea fans have bombarded YouTube with plenty of emotional comments. It’s fair to say they’re both furious and gutted Mourinho allowed him to leave.
After De Bruyne’s impressive debut, you’d think he had a big future at Chelsea. However, remarkably, he only made a further two appearances in the league before he signed for Wolfsburg in January 2014 for just £18 million.
One-and-a-half seasons later and De Bruyne returned to England with Man City willing to pay £55 million for him.
And he hasn’t looked back since and he’s probably worth more than double that fee right now.
If only Mourinho had given him a chance…