It’s a remarkable turnaround considering just how close he came to leaving the club earlier this summer but all credit to Jose Mourinho because he’s said something which means the Blues retain one of their best youngsters.
De Bruyne seemed to have big issues with the way his future was panning out at Stamford Bridge which led to intense speculation that he was on the verge of signing for Borussia Dortmund and had already told the German side that was his plan.
“We are interested in the signature of Kevin De Bruyne. We are not at the helm in this respect, of course. I am however able to confirm the player does want to make a transfer to our club,” Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc said last month.
So what exactly might Mourinho have said to get De Bruyne to turn around his thinking and focus on Chelsea ahead of the new season.
Well the first possible thing is that he may have just stressed realism that he was just as unlikely to play regular first team football under Jurgen Klopp as he is under Mourinho at Stamford Bridge.
It’s not a negative, just realism and De Bruyne is like any other player in the current Chelsea side; he’s going to have to work his way into the first team.
It’s also likely that Mourinho would have stressed or promised him that he would get a chance if he kept his head down and impressed during training and pre-season.
Chelsea are heading into a very important season in several high profile competitions and the key midfielders at the club are not going to be able to play every single game and that’s De Bruyne’s way into the side.
“The manager said he has a lot of confidence and brought me back because he believes in me. I have to show that on the pitch, but it is nice when the trainer has confidence in you. I have to work hard and see what happens in pre-season,” De Bruyne told the club’s official website.
That point about confidence is very significant because the fact Mourinho brought De Bruyne back rather than letting him pursue that move to Dortmund is a huge sign of faith in the young Belgian.
The Portuguese boss is also likely to have told De Bruyne that he’s better off staying at Chelsea because of the younger players the current squad has to use.
Not only does that create competition for places, it should help De Bruyne fine tune his game, increasing the overall quality of his play and ultimately making him a much better player.
Mourinho has looked at the situation, thinking De Bruyne was worth fighting for, worth hanging onto and most definitely an asset the club should keep heading into the new season.
Why do you think De Bruyne is staying at Chelsea?
image: © Erik Daniel Drost