Published: Mon, April 15, 2019
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I was wrong about Raheem, admits De Bruyne

I was wrong about Raheem, admits De Bruyne

By the time De Bruyne left the club permanently, he had made just nine senior appearances for Chelsea.

"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", said Mourinho.

"But the truth is that I only ever spoke to him twice".

"Then I got to City and I actually met Raheem, and we'd talk a bit after training, and I thought, Wait, this guy seems really cool?"

De Bruyne, then a 20-year-old, found himself competing with Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Brazilian global Oscar for a spot in the attacking triumvirate behind the striker in Mourinho's preferred 4-2-3-1 formation. However, De Bruyne is not a normal player and these stats stand in pale comparison to last years where he played 52 games, scored 12 goals and assisted a further 21. I said, "I feel like the club doesn't really want me here".

"Truthfully, I don't have many close friends - inside or outside of football". So I thought maybe Chelsea would let me go. I'm in his plans'.

The Belgium player has missed 18 games this season because of a hamstring injury but set up two of City's goals yesterday with precise passing to Raheem Sterling and then Gabriel Jesus.


Mourinho himself was asked about De Bruyne's exit at the time and issued a damning response.

"Jose was just kind of waiting for me to say something, and finally I said, 'But... some of these guys have played 15, 20 games". I've only played three. "So it's going to be different, no?'" De Bruyne wrote.

'It was so odd.

"We think Liverpool are going to win all their games, but the Premier League position is in our hands", he said. And (Juan) Mata was also out of favour at the time, so Jose said, "Well, you know, if Mata leaves, then you will be the fifth choice instead of sixth"'. The next season, Chelsea agreed to loan him to Werder Bremen in Germany before he was eventually told by Jose Mourinho that he would feature at Stamford Bridge at the beginning of the 2013-14 season.

He continued to develop as he was trusted to be a regular starter and his stock accelerated to the point where he was sold for £54m to Manchester City where he has continued to enhance his reputation.

Crystal Palace play in the Premier League against Manchester City on Sunday at Selhurst Park, with the London club looking to complete an unlikely double over their big-spending opponents.

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