Manchester City star Kevin de Bruyne has revealed his time at Chelsea may prove to be the most important period of his career, as his subsequent improvement as a player has City primed to win titles with the rest of their supremely talented squad.
The 26-year-old started his career at just 14-years-old, where he worked his way up the ranks at Genk which earned him a move to Chelsea - where he then had subsequent spells with Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg - before making the move to City.
In an interview with The Times, De Bruyne recalled his time at Chelsea and the frustrations that surfaced following Jose Mourinho's reluctance to play him.
He said: “I’ve always had a great determination to make something in football. I had the same in Chelsea, the determination to show I’m a very good footballer.
"Maybe Chelsea at that time was not a bright period but it was a good experience for me to learn. It was one of the most important pieces in my career."
Mourinho only started the midfielder twice in the Premier League, as he continually pointed out apparent deficiencies in his game, much to De Bruyne's frustration as he was unable to prove his manager wrong.
He added: “I just said I can play. I have no statistics — two games, what do you want me to do? I had a feeling I wasn’t even going to play.
"Even if he said you’re going to play more games, from two games I was maybe going to go to five. It was, for me, a good decision to leave [for Wolfsburg for £18 million].
“For them, in the end, it was also a good decision. They sold me for more money for a player who didn’t play. I played in Germany for a good year [at Bremen on loan], so that’s why my value went up. But I went to Wolfsburg just to play football. I hate it when I cannot contribute."
Although his star is rising to extraordinary levels, De Bruyne remains level headed as he insists he is just one member of a squad of talented players Pep Guardila has at his disposal, and that it is time the club turn their domination into trophies.
He said: “Since I’ve been here we’ve just won a League Cup. It’s time to win something major. My feeling is we can win everything. That’s not to say we’re going to win everything."