Chelsea: Mourinho attacks Kevin De Bruyne for the club’s errors
Chelsea manager José Mourinho says Kevin De Bruyne, the player he sold for £18, and Manchester City are willing to pay up to £50m to sign, does not regret letting him go.
The Belgium midfielder left Chelsea for German club Wolfsburg in January 2014 after only six months in Mourinho’s first-team Chelsea squad.
He has gone on to garner rave reviews. Pep Guardiola, the Bayern Munich coach, calls De Bruyne “a huge talent”.
Chelsea did not include a buy-back clause in his contract.
“I wanted to keep him, but he told me it was not in his personality to be competing for a position in the team. He needed a team where he knows he can play every game. He needs to know that he is important. He did not want a team where he thinks, ‘Am I playing or not?’ He needs that trust, he needs that quality. He needs that security.”
De Bruyne is needy, says Mourinho.
“I was not happy when he left, so it’s not fair what he says. He told me he wanted to play every weekend. But I told him this is Chelsea, you are very young and we have Eden Hazard, we have Juan Mata, we have Willian, we have André Schürrle, and I cannot promise you that.”
What De Bruyne says is:
“I still don’t understand why Jose Mourinho let me leave. I never discussed it with him. I started to play and then it was finished. After four months, I asked him to leave. I didn’t want to stay at a club where I wasn’t even playing for 10 minutes. He said it was my attitude in training? It is an excuse he can use.
“But no-one can say that as they haven’t seen me train. I don’t think that in Belgium or in the Bundesliga they have complained about this.
“That is the way it is. I am not angry. When I was transferred to Wolfsburg, Chelsea got their money. Everyone was happy.”
Back to Mourinho:
“For the first game of the season against Hull City he played. For the second game against Manchester United he played. The third game of the season was the Super Cup in Prague, I decided not to play him. For the fourth match, in the Premier League, he was on the bench. And he was not happy. He told me he was not happy.
“He was not training very well and I was asking for more and he was saying ‘I can’t give you more. This is just my way.’ So I accepted that if this is his mentality and it’s his choice to go, it is better for Chelsea to make a good deal.”
A £12m profit on the player they signed from Genk for £6.7m is not too shabby.
One person who has no regrets about leaving Chelsea, of course, is Kevin De Bruyne, who has gone from benchwarmer to star.
Although before his move to Germany, he did say:
“I feel quite good. The fact that I’m playing at Chelsea is proof I always performed well. The manager told me in July that I had to stay, so I’m not a difficult person. I’ve no regrets.”
But this might be story of what happens when a club foists a player on the manager. Andre Villas-Boas was Chelsea boss when De Bruyne joined the Londoners. He said:
“It’s a target that’s decided by the club, that I knew about for quite some time. In the sense that it’s the club policy for the future, it’s the right thing [to buy him] and I’ll do everything in my power for him to reach maximum potential. But it’s down to the club in decision-making. I’m a manager who respects club policy. A club has to look to the future, whether it’s with this manager or another. He’s a good bet for the future.”
He really was one for the future – just not at Chelsea.