With Kevin De Bruyne expected to complete an eye-watering £50m-plus move from Wolfsburg to Manchester City, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has received an inevitable grilling over the player he sold for £18m two Januarys ago.
The Special One replied in typically bullish fashion recently, as reported on Sky Sports’ website:
“With De Bruyne, if you have a player knocking on your door and crying every day he wants to leave, you have to make a decision. At that time, Chelsea did well.
“If De Bruyne stayed here, not happy and not motivated, and we’d sold him after a year, we’d have got less – 50 per cent less than we sold him for.”
This state of affairs may indeed have been the case, but the fact that Mourinho afforded De Bruyne just 395 minutes of action over five months before agreeing to his departure suggests the Belgian wasn’t given much of a chance.
Instead, the Portuguese gaffer preferred to rotate the likes of Andre Schurrle, Juan Mata, Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o in search of goals, all of whom have also left Chelsea since.
Juan Cuadrado is the latest attacking-midfield type to struggle at Stamford Bridge, with the Colombian now back in Serie A on loan with Juventus, while first-choice wide-forward Willian’s start to the season must be cause for concern, as the Brazilian has been subbed off in every game so far.
In the 2-1 loss at home to Crystal Palace, Willian was replaced by 19-year-old countryman Kenedy, whose capture from Fluminense came only a week ago.
Such a substitution smacks of desperation, especially with Chelsea in dire need of a goal at the time. What Mourinho wouldn’t have given for a man who bagged ten in the Bundesliga last term, while laying on another 20?
De Bruyne may have had some growing up to do during his time in west London, but a run of Premier League appearances might have helped.
Mourinho started the former Genk man in just three top-flight games, of which Chelsea won two and drew the other at Manchester United. This questionable selection policy may have been part of the problem.