The two giants of English top flight football did battle once again this weekend as Chelsea hosted Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, with all the focus being on ex-Blue star Kevin de Bruyne.
De Bruyne had a brief spell with the Premier League champions, featuring in only nine games in all competitions, before sealing a move to Bundesliga.
In an interview with The Telegraph, the Belgium international recalls his time at Chelsea and his ouster influenced mainly by the presence of Jose Mourinho.
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De Bruyne said: “He [Mourinho] called in all the attacking midfielders. 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.”
Mourinho’s gesture was motivated by the fact that De Bruyne held a meeting with director Marina Granovshaia and technical director Michael Emenalo, formalising his desire to leave the club.
Upon seeing the factual demonstration of the Portuguese tactician, De Bruyne answered: “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.”
Since the departure of the City ace from west London, Mourinho has time-and-time again reiterated that it was due to the Belgian’s reluctance to compete for a starting spot in the team that led to his exodus.
Chelsea sold him to Wolfsburg for £18million, but on the back of a brilliant campaign for the German side, he returned to England signing for Manchester City for £55m last summer.
Asked if there were any truth to Mourinho’s claims, De Bruyne replied: “There was talk that I didn’t train too much, stories I couldn’t defend myself against as the sessions were always behind closed doors.
“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.”
He laments the fact that he was not given the opportunity to prove himself as the main reason for him to call time on his stay with Chelsea.
“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.”
The 24-year-old has been instrumental in City’s charge in Europe and scored twice over two legs against Paris Saint-Germain, thereby, guiding them to their first ever semi-finals in Champions League, resulting in Blues’ fans taking to social media to vent their anger of Chelsea selling the dynamic midfielder.
APPRAISAL FROM CHELSEA ACE
Chelsea playmaker Cesc Fabregas disclosed that he was hardly familiar with De Bruyne before he joined the Etihad outfit.
Sky Sports quoted the Spaniard saying, after being asked if he is impressed with the Belgian’s form: “Yes, mostly because I hardly knew about him before this season.”
“I didn’t really watch the German league in the few years he was there so yes, he’s impressed me because I didn’t know that he had that much quality. I think he fits in very well with Manchester City’s footballing style.”
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