Kevin De Bruyne’s travails at Chelsea are well documented. Shunted to the bench, the midfielder’s frustration was palpable. Eventually off-loaded to Wolfsburg, the player has revealed the ‘life-changing’ discussion with Jose Mourinho which prompted his exit.
Speaking to The Player’s Tribune, the midfielder threw light on the discussion with then gaffer, Mourinho which confirmed his fears that the club did not really value him:
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“José 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, Mata, Schürrle.
“And it’s like — five goals, 10 assists, whatever.
“José 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. We had a bit of a conversation about me going back out on loan. And Mata was also out of favor at the time, so José said, ‘Well, you know, if Mata leaves, then you will be the fifth choice instead of sixth.’
“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.’ “
The 27 year old had managed only nine appearances for the Stamford Bridge outfit after his move from Genk in 2012. Quite miffed with a bit-part role at the club, the Belgian revived his career at Wolfsburg before switching over to Manchester City in 2015. He has since gone on to establish himself as one of the finest midfielders in recent memory.