Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has claimed that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho spoke to him only twice during his ill-fated stint with the Blues.
The 24-year-old De Bruyne joined Chelsea from Genk on deadline day of the January transfer window in 2012. He remained at Genk for the remainder of the 2011/12 season and then enjoyed a successful stint on loan at Bremen in the Bundesliga during the 2012/13 campaign.
On his return to Chelsea, one that coincided with the start of Mourinho's second stint at the club, the Belgian international was mentioned as a youngster who had a future at the club, but he would leave the Blues on loan just months later after failing to capture his manager's attention.
Mourinho said that De Bruyne was unable to cope with the pressure, something he looked to disprove at Wolfsburg last season where he was named the Bundesliga's Player of the Season.
A big-money move to Manchester City followed, and on his return to the Premier League De Bruyne has revealed that he was given the silent treatment by Mourinho who did not share his views as to why he was surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.
"I didn't get any explanation,” De Bruyne said. “I only talked with him twice, Mourinho.
“That was before the Champions League game against Basel, where he said I was doing better, in his opinion and that I would get my chance. I think that was maybe November.
“And then one week before January, that's the day I said I wanted to go out because even if I was training better, I was not getting any minutes.
“So for me personally, it was better to go."
Many players would have struggled to recover from the effects of failing to make the grade in England, but De Bruyne believes that the experience made him a better player and person.
“You can’t compare with me two years ago at Chelsea,” he said. “It’s a different situation and I am a completely different person than I was then.
“I was nineteen when I signed and then worked with three managers and just didn’t play that much.
“I had come from Werder Bremen, where I played every second, so the difference was huge. I wasn’t even on the bench.
“I was probably a bit eager to play all the time at Chelsea and maybe should have taken it a little bit more slowly.
“But I don’t regret it (leaving). I just wanted to go at that time, either a sale or loan. I just needed to go so that things could be better for me personally.
“Selling was probably better than loaning because, if you go on loan, you just return to the same situation.
“I would still have been a young player coming back from a small club to a big club and I would have had to prove myself all over again.
“That’s okay if you are 17 or 18, but I had always had four or five years of football behind me so it was different.”