Kevin De Bruyne is probably the best and most complete midfielder in world football right now.
The Manchester City star’s passing ability is simply unrivalled, while he also added a serious amount of goals to his catalogue of assists in 2021/22.
De Bruyne, who’s one of the most two-footed players on the planet, found the back of the net 19 times across all competitions last season.
He even scored four goals in one game away at Wolverhampton Wanderers, with three of them coming off his ‘weaker’ left foot.
De Bruyne really is a special, special footballer and it’s why he’s one of a select few to be named PFA Players’ Player of the Year on multiple occasions.
Given how the Belgian has performed over the past five years or so, it’s crazy to think that Chelsea offloaded him in January of 2014 without a second thought.
De Bruyne joined Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg and quickly went on to establish himself as one of the world’s premiere playmakers.
Oh what could have been for Chelsea, eh?
However, when you look back at De Bruyne’s performances for the west London club, it’s easy to understand why they chose to sell him.
In fact, his final appearance for Chelsea under the management of Jose Mourinho in December of 2013 was a bit of a disaster.
The self-proclaimed Special One opted to start De Bruyne for a League Cup quarter-final away at Sunderland and it’s safe to say the gamble didn’t pay off.
Chelsea lost the match 2-1 following a period of extra-time, Ki Sung-yeung netting a 118th-minute winner after Fabio Borini cancelled out Frank Lampard‘s opener.
Check out De Bruyne’s highlights from ‘the match that made Chelsea sell him’ here…
Video: De Bruyne’s highlights for Chelsea vs Sunderland in 2013/14
How is that the same player that’s terrorised teams across Europe for well over five years now?!
De Bruyne’s passing was all over the place, his set-pieces were average at best and he didn’t look confident on the ball whatsoever – even when presented with space to run into by Sunderland.
The only positive was the fact the Belgium international was still demanding the ball and keen to take responsibility, characteristics which have served in very well throughout his career thus far.
But while things didn’t work out under Mourinho at Chelsea, De Bruyne has no ill feeling towards the club or manager – despite the fact he believes his bright displays in training were not rewarded.
“I never went to Jose Mourinho,” he told Het Nieusblad. “I trained hard; I showed enough. But it’s a football myth that if you train well, you get chance.
“That is not true. I left it hanging a bit because I didn’t see a chance to play anymore, but then I learned to behave differently sometimes.
“And that you can get out of such a situation. But I didn’t see that then. I just wanted to leave. And I don’t hate Mourinho either, I’m not a little kid. It just didn’t work out then.”