After signing with Chelsea for £7m in January 2012, Belgium international Kevin De Bruyne made just nine appearances in all competitions for the Blues, decided his future didn’t look promising with the club and left Stamford Bridge two years later.
He was bought over by his current employers Manchester City for £55m in 2015 and has since played 249 games for the Cityzens, winning two Premier League titles and establishing himself as one of the best players in the world.
And De Bruyne has now come clean on his stint at Stamford Bridge, as well as the awkward meeting with Mourinho that ultimately led to his exit.
“There was so much in the press about my relationship with Jose Mourinho,” De Bruyne told Sky Sports.
“But the truth is that I only ever spoke to him twice. The plan was always for me to go on loan for a bit.
“Jose called me into his office in December, and it was probably the second big life-changing moment for me. He had some papers in front of him, and he said, ‘One assist. Zero goals. Ten recoveries’.
“It took me a minute to understand what he was doing. Then he started reading the stats of the other attacking forwards – Willian, Oscar, [Juan] Mata, [Andre] Schurrle. And it’s like – five goals, 10 assists, whatever.
“Jose was just kind of waiting for me to say something, and finally I said, ‘But some of these guys have played 15, 20 games. I’ve only played three. So it’s going to be different, no?’
“It was so strange. I was completely honest. I said, ‘I feel like the club doesn’t really want me here. I want to play football. I’d rather you sell me.’
“I decided to go away because I felt I didn’t have any chances of playing at the time. I didn’t see more opportunities coming so for me, it was the best decision to leave Chelsea and go to a situation where I felt I could start again.
“Did I expect it to go this way? Obviously not, because at that time it was a low point in my career but I never had any doubt in my abilities as a football player.
“I can’t think what is going to happen eight years down the line playing for City, in World Cups and all that stuff. It’s wonderful.”
City will move 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League table if they beat Manchester United on Sunday.
Credit: Football Tribe Malaysia