Date published: Tuesday 25th October 2016 9:10
Kevin de Bruyne admits he takes great pride in having changed people’s perceptions of his quality since joining Manchester City.
City raised a few eyebrows after paying Wolfsburg £55million to sign De Bruyne, who failed to make an impression in two years at Chelsea.
Belgium international De Bruyne arrived at Chelsea from Genk in 2011 as a promising 20-year-old, but made only nine appearances in all competitions before departing for the Bundesliga.
However, since joining City, De Bruyne has been one of the best performers in the Premier League, justifying his hefty price-tag.
“Obviously it is very satisfying. I come here today with a very different view than people had of me last year. It shows that a lot can happen in one year,” De Bruyne told the Daily Mail.
“Everybody had a view of how I came out of Chelsea so, yeah, it gives me satisfaction that people have changed their minds.”
Jose Mourinho, who was manager of Chelsea at the time, insists De Bruyne was sold as the attacking midfielder was not willing to fight for his place in the Blues’ starting XI.
However, the 25-year-old suggests he was never given the chance to prove his worth and respond to his critics.
“I couldn’t say anything before as I wasn’t playing,” he said. “If he (Mourinho) says something to the press they are going to believe it because at that moment it was the only thing they had to listen to — the only evidence there was.
“But I don’t think I am like he said. I always want to play. I have played hundreds of times in my career and I am only 25. So I think I have answered it quite well.
“At the time at Chelsea I had already many, many games under my belt. I didn’t feel I was like a normal 20-year-old because I had already played for years in Belgium and then on loan from Chelsea in Germany.
“I think they (Chelsea) had a different view than I had of myself. I was young but also experienced. If I had come through the youth then maybe I would be happy to play 10 games there.
“As far as I was concerned, I was ready to play. I have read that, for them at Chelsea, I was too young, but in my mind you are never too young. If you are ready you are ready.
“I think Eden Hazard was the same age as me when he played so it’s a little bit strange to say this guy is young and the other guy is old enough to play. It’s just another way of saying that somebody isn’t good enough.”
De Bruyne did, however, move to play down suggestions he fell out with Mourinho.
“I have no problem with Jose,” he shrugged. “In some ways it was a good experience. It’s the only experience of not really playing and it gave me another aspect, to realise how to conduct yourself.
“I learned a lot about myself and I am happy with the decision I made to move on.”