Kevin de Bruyne has insisted that his treatment at Chelsea was “just not fair” as he prepares to make his first return to Stamford Bridge with Manchester City today.
The Belgian joined Chelsea in January 2012 but was sold by Jose Mourinho two years later having only made two starts in the Premier League, and seven further appearances.
According to The Telegraph, Mourinho wanted to keep De Bruyne, who is now performing superbly for City, but the player demanded to leave to play more first-team football.
And the 24-year-old has revealed details of a Mourinho meeting which took place one month prior to his departure in January 2014, which he hints convinced him to leave.
“He called in all the attacking midfielders,” De Bruyne is quoted by The Telegraph as saying. “He showed us the stats of his six players – assists, goals, passing percentage, key passes, dribbles. He wanted to prove I didn’t perform on the level of the others.
“I simply answered him: ‘Sorry, that’s not logical. I’ve played less games than the others. How can you compare me to the others?’ That was just not fair in my eyes.”
Eighteen months after Chelsea let De Bruyne go to Wolfsburg for £18m, Man City paid £55m to sign the attacking midfielder last summer – fees reported by The Telegraph.
De Bruyne has contributed 15 goals and 14 assists in his debut season at the Etihad, and scored the goal which sent City through to the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday.
He may be looking to prove a point when City visit Stamford Bridge in the Premier League this evening, although Chelsea fans seem to already acknowledge that he is one that got away.