Belgium international De Bruyne departed Chelsea last January to sign for Wolfsburg, and he has been quoted by Sport Bild as claiming his transfer fee was to blame for his failure at Stamford Bridge.
The winger made just nine appearances for the Blues before being cast out of Jose Mourinho’s first-team squad, and then leaving West London for a fee believed to be in the region of £16 million. He never truly impressed for Chelsea, although the 23-year-old has been a revelation in the Bundesliga, scoring 14 goals and registering 23 assists in just 49 games. Wolfsburg are fighting for the Bundesliga title this season, and, although they will likely miss out to Bayern Munich, Champions League qualification is all-but guaranteed, and they will return to challenge for the league next season.
Many will suggest that Chelsea head coach Mourinho should have been patient with De Bruyne, as his current form is certainly showing a player who would be guaranteed a place in the Blues team. However, working with the Blues requires Mourinho to always field the strongest team possible, and easing a developing star in was always going to be a difficult task.
It is this status of developing star that De Bruyne feels cost him an important place in Mourinho’s plans, and he has admitted to Sport Bild that if he had been signed for a larger transfer fee then he would not have been a failure at Stamford Bridge.
“Maybe things would have been different if Chelsea had to pay €45m and not €8m when I arrived from Racing Genk,” the winger was quoted as saying.
“A higher transfer fee would have potentially handed me a different sort of status inside the club. And possibly, handed me more [playing] chances.”
De Bruyne may be handed that sort of status in the Chelsea squad in the future, with a recent report in Sport Wereld claiming that the Blues have been tracking his development ahead of a potential summer return to West London.