With Man City about to secure the signing of Kevin De Bruyne (KDB) for an astonishing £56 million we take a look at the meteoric rise of a player that cost Chelsea a mere £7m from Genk only three years ago.
Scooped up by the Chelsea talent trawler in 2012 KDB made his debut against MLS outfit the Seattle Sounders in a 4-2 win under Andre villas Boas (remember him?) however he was immediately farmed out on loan to Bundesliga outfit of the Werder Bremen. A productive season in the Bundesliga saw KDB’s stock rise and lead him to win the Young Player of the Year in 2013.
After the season long loan spell KDB returned to Chelsea this time under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho. Despite being given assurances that he was part of Jose’s plans it was quite clear that Mourinho did not fancy him as a player. Soon the ‘Special One’ grew tired of KDB’s constant ‘whinging’ (as Jose put it recently) about his lack of game time. So off to Wolfsburg he went.
A fee of £18 million saw Chelsea turn a neat profit of £11m on a player who had only managed to play a total of 3 games for the club. On the face of it Chelsea looked to have done a good bit of business. However, KDB like Daniel Sturridge before him has gone on to prove that their really is life after Stamford Bridge.
Another stellar season in Germany saw his stock rise further as Wolfsburg qualified for the Champions League in the 2013/14 season. A smart move indeed by the German team.
2014/15 was an even better season for the young Belgian as again Wolfsburg qualified for Europe’s premier competition and KDB won the Bundesliga Player of the Year. A quite considerable feat when playing for an unfashionable club in a league with high calibre players such as Robben, Ribery, Muller et al.
Flush with their oil money and less restricted by FFP, Man City in desperate need to strengthen their team further identified Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling and KDB as the attacking talent to take them to the next level domestically but more specifically in Europe. At a potential total cost of over £100m that is some bet!
So what will Man City be getting for £56m. In truth I don’t know and only keen observers of the Bundesliga could really tell us. In 80 games in Germany (while on loan at Bremen and the latterly with Wolfsburg) KDB scored 23 goals in 80 games while playing as an attacking midfielder. Not a bad ratio given the standard of the league.
Wolfsburg have played their hand well and are now £28m better off as a result of their astute to decision to take the Belgian off Chelsea’s hands. Chelsea are looking less smart than when then originally sold KDB. Their rivals are stronger and they will now have an opposing player itching to prove the special one wrong. What are the odds now on City pipping Chelsea to the title? You don’t have to be the best book maker in the world to realise that they have tilted in City’s favour.
At least they can be comforted by the sell on clause in the Wolfsburg deal. Oh wait a minute they forgot to include one!