Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne thinks Jose Mourinho was wrong to discard him during his second spell at Chelsea. The 25-year-old star was sold by Mourinho to Wolfsburg in 2014, with the Premier League-winning boss saying De Bruyne was not ready to fight for a place in the Chelsea first team.
De Bruyne has subsequently emerged as one of the most exciting players in world football, earning himself a big-money switch to City during 2015. The Belgium international has now opened up about his experience of working with Mourinho ahead of City's much-anticipated EFL Cup clash against his Manchester United side at Old Trafford on Wednesday (26 October).
"I couldn't say anything before as I wasn't playing," De Bruyne, who made just two Premier League starts under Mourinho, told the Daily Mail. "If he 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."
De Bruyne admitted that Mourinho – who became United manager over the summer – and himself had differing views on his readiness to play first-team football. "I think [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," he said his time working under the current United boss.
"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 scored against Mourinho's United in their 2-1 win in the Premier League earlier this season. The midfielder latched onto a header from Kelechi Iheanacho to give City the opening goal in the derby game.