His was the transfer that probably crept under a lot of radars. Submerged by the fanfares for the major acquisitions such as Hazard, Oscar, and even compatriots Lukaku and Courtois, the name of Kevin De Bruyne may well have got lost, but next season could see the young Belgian in Chelsea’s first team squad – dependant on who is sitting in the manager’s chair.
The winger was signed from Genk for a fee bordering on £7million and, as is the de rigueur form of late at Stamford Bridge, was immediately loaned out. Unlike Lukaku however, who has hit the headlines here for his impact at West Bromwich Albion this season, De Bruyne was parceled off to lesser-known Bundesliga club Werder Bremen. Although little reported in this country, De Bruyne has been in impressive form, and although there appears to be a queue of clubs forming to sign him, should Chelsea wish to take a quick profit on the player, it seems his home next season may be in west London. As always seems to be the case with Chelsea however, so much will depend on who is sitting in the manager’s chair, and just as importantly, how long they will be there for.
Unless the club already has a strong indication of who will be in place next season, forming a squad to suit the aspirations of a manager will inevitably be very much a ‘lastminute.com’ event. Although there is a growing trend amongst many clubs now for the squad to be assembled by a Director of Football, President, or particularly in Chelsea’s case, the owner, and then handed to a ‘coach’ – rather than manager – to coach, the elite of managers still very much want to have command of their resource assembly. Should Chelsea re-appoint Mourinho in the summer, this will most assuredly be the case – it may even be one of his preconditions for accepting the post.
Such being the case, although the club appear pleased with the progress of De Bruyne, and there is an inclination to move him back to his parent club, the future of the Belgian as a Chelsea player, as will doubtless be the case with a number of others on the Stamford Bridge payroll, may all hinge on the whims of the man at the helm. After all, this is Chelsea. What else would you expect?