De Bruyne emerged as an 18-year-old with Genk, and continued to develop in Belgium until his impressive displays attracted interest from a number of clubs around Europe. It was Chelsea who landed the midfielder's services in January 2012, paying £7m to secure him, but the Blues loaned him back to Genk for the remainder of the season.
The playmaker returned to West London that summer, but with first team opportunities unlikely, he was farmed out on loan again, this time to Bundesliga outfit Werder Bremen - where he racked up ten goals and 11 assists in a hugely impressive season in Germany.
Then expected to break into the Chelsea first team, de Bruyne initially started under returning Blues boss Jose Mourinho, but the relationship quickly turned sour as 'the Special One' criticised de Bruyne's application in training, which led to him being sat on the sidelines.
Rumours circled that de Bruyne would be returning to Germany, and so it proved as when the January transfer window came around, he was sold to Wolfsburg for £18m - an £11m profit for Chelsea on a player who had only featured for the club nine times.
Unsurprisingly, de Bruyne has had a strong second half of the season with Wolfsburg and is now expected to start for Marc Wilmots' Belgium side at this summer's World Cup. With his spell at Chelsea now in the past, the midfielder opened up about his time in West London, saying it was difficult to show what he could do as Mourinho simply wouldn't give the chance to.
"For myself I know what I do on the field," De Bruyne told Sky Sports News. "Physically I'm always one of the top players in the game and run a lot of kilometres. The second half of the season (at Wolfsburg) I showed everybody I'm a good player.
"But it's difficult to prove yourself if nobody can watch you - that's all I can say about it. I'm not at the club any more and I'm doing fine at the moment," added the Belgian.