Former Chelsea star Frank Lampard has today moved to back the club’s decision to sell Kevin De Bruyne in 2014.
As has become common knowledge among regular viewers of the Premier League, Belgian midfielder De Bruyne has developed into one of the finest players in the English top-flight since his move to Manchester City in 2015.
He has started off the current campaign in typically brilliant fashion, pulling the strings for Pep Guardiola’s men from his deep-lying berth, and notching the only goal of the game during his side’s victory over Chelsea yesterday evening.
‘Wasn’t as good’
Large sections of Blues fans have since slated the club for allowing such a mercurial talent to depart Stamford Bridge, after Chelsea sold the 26-year-old to Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg in 2014 for 22 million Euro.
One man who has defended the decision of the capital outfit to part with De Bruyne, however, is legendary Blues midfielder Frank Lampard.
Lampard is another player to have lined out for both Chelsea and Manchester City, though his stint with the former will always mark the most memorable spell of his career.
Speaking on BT Sport following City’s victory yesterday, the 39-year-old explained that the abundance of attacking talent at Stamford Bridge in 2014 meant that De Bruyne was more expendable then than he is now.
‘It was a difficult time for the club, you had (Eden) Hazard, Oscar, and Willian had just signed. He wasn’t as good as he is now.’
‘Of course it’s easy to look and say “why did you let him go?”, but he’s gone away and made himself a world class player.’
‘You always wonder about development. He had good pace, good passing, good dribbling, but at that point he couldn’t get into our team.’
‘One thing he had was ambition, he wanted to go away and prove he was a player.’
Chelsea aren’t going to spend £88m on 19-year-old wonderkid from Romania
The international break hasn’t even begun officially, and we’re already getting the usual slate of sh*tposts from all the usual suspects.
There’s Duncan Castles, for example, trotting out his Conte exit story again in the Sunday Times. Castles has been claiming a Conte exit since the spring, if not longer (you know, clash over transfers, etc) — one of these times he will undoubtedly be right since the lifespan of a Chelsea manager, just as the vast majority of all managers in football, is just about 1-3 years. Will that be at the end of the season? It’s possible. The new contract signed in the summer gives both the club and the head coach plenty of flexibility. As ever, the stability at Chelsea is at the director level, not in coaching.
And then there’s the Daily Mail, who bring us this gem about a 19-year-old Romanian “wonderkid” Florinel Coman who supposedly has an £88m release clause and whom Chelsea are supposedly tracking.
Putting all those into a headline (plus an Emenalo flight in the story itself) insinuates that Chelsea are considering the possibility of paying that club-record amount for the kid — and subsequent coverage elsewhere of the Mail’s story plays off that — but I think we can all safely agree, that’s nonsense. Even if Chelsea are interested in the 19-year-old, he cost Steaua £2m this summer. His value isn’t about to increase 44-fold. Decent bit of agenting, but maybe make it more believable next time?
It’s going to be a long two weeks, isn’t it?