The 21-year-old January signing from Genk is currently on loan at Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga and his good form has been one of the pivotal reasons in Eden Hazard sitting on the bench in recent international fixtures. How good can he become?
Chelsea signed Kevin De Bruyne from KRC Genk on Transfer Deadline Day in January 2012 meaning he has almost completed his first year at the club. In that time he has not yet featured in a competitive fixture for The Blues. So what has he been getting up to?
When he completed his £7million five-and-a-half-year deal he was granted permission to stay with Genk until the end of the season in order to continue staying match fit for his impending move to Chelsea.
However after the arrivals of Eden Hazard and Oscar his first team opportunities became even slighter once again and so it was agreed the best option was for the 21-year-old to go out on loan at a slightly more competitive level with Bundesliga side Werder Bremen.
Despite not exactly winning fans over at first; especially as quotes were attributed to him where he reportedly called Germans ‘stiff’ and remarked that he ‘wouldn’t want to live in Germany in the future’. That has been forgotten however as he has been performing on the pitch.
He has featured in 16 games for Werder Bremen this season and scored four goals as his side currently lie in 12th position. Playing predominantly from out-wide in a slight change from his original attacking midfielder role he has also demonstrated an ability to play as a centre forward and even in the deeper lying midfield position.
He certainly has relished the opportunity to play at a higher level and that form has been replicated on an international front.
In fact it has previously been claimed in some circles that as an all-round player De Bruyne is actually better than current Chelsea attacker Eden Hazard.
At the moment that seems to be the opinion of Marc Wilmots who decided to play De Bruyne in Belgium’s fixture with Scotland in October ahead of the former Lille playmaker. This was again the decision when Belgium took on Romania in an international friendly last month (although Hazard was struggling with a minor Achilles inflammation).
De Bruyne has spoken of his Chelsea future recently telling German newspaper Kreiszeitung Syke that:
"I am definitely going to spend pre-season with Chelsea. After that, we will see what happens, I know it will be very tough for me to accept being just a substitute. I know I would become extremely unhappy.’’
Considering he is currently keeping Hazard out of the Belgian national team there should be no doubt that De Bruyne has the potential to be a first-team regular at Stamford Bridge next season.
Are you looking forward to the return of Kevin De Bruyne?
image: © mikehamm