With his place in the Belgium national side at threat, where could Kevin De Bruyne move temporarily for the rest of the season?
He had performed wonders in the Bundesliga with Werder Bremen, starring in a struggling side who barely avoided relegation.
Chelsea fought hard to keep hold of him this summer among interest from Germany, and he started against Hull City on the opening day of the campaign.
So he seemed to be on the radar for Jose Mourinho this season, but he has now dropped out of the squad as Mourinho admitted he has not been impressed with him.
But this is a World Cup season, and De Bruyne happens to play for one of the most competitive national teams in the world right now … Belgium.
So he needs to play week-in-week-out in order to cement a place in the squad - which doesn’t look likely at Stamford Bridge.
So where could he head out on loan this January to earn a place on the plane to Brazil?
Here are five options…
Die Schwarzgelben tried in vain to sign the player this summer. In the end they went with Henrikh Mkhitaryan after Chelsea told the Champions League finalists he was going nowhere.
The Armenian has been wonderful at Signal Iduna - but cover is always necessary, and they could finally get their man.
He could join Belgian team-mates Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas at Goodison Park.
He is exactly the type of player that Roberto Martinez would like in his team to help push for Europe, and he could do damage to Chelsea’s title rivals alongside Lukaku.
A win-win situation all around.
The Chelsea farm club would love De Bruyne to join the likes of Lucas Piazon, Patrick van Aanholt and Christian Atsu.
Vitesse would afford the Dutch speaking Belgium the comforts, but not the quality considering the strength of the Dutch Eredivisie.
One place where he would definitely be welcome is at the Weserstadion. He became a cult hero at the club last term, and they would love to have him back.
For De Bruyne, a return to where he starred in 2012-13 might just be the tonic.
The German outfit are said to be interested, and are stuttering in the Bundesliga at this moment in time.
He would get first-team football at the club and in the Bundesliga he could try force the club into the European places.
image: © Erik Daniel Drost