Long, long time lurker.. very grateful for this website and all those who contribute, both in the written articles and the sensible comments/discussion that follow.
I am not quite sure where Kevin de Bruyne fits into the picture, looking at the current depth Chelsea have in the attacking midfield with a plethora of young, world-class talent in the likes of Juan Mata, Oscar, Eden Hazard, Victor Moses, Marko Marin, and Lucas Piazon. As Stephen has pointed out in many of his loan round-ups, de Bruyne seems to be one of Werder Bremen's bright spots throughout the first half of the season. Given his current talent base and potential ceiling, surely Chelsea has a use for him in some capacity in the long-run.
Although not a perfect comparison, I can see several similarities between a young Bastian Schweinsteiger and Kevin de Bruyne. When Bastian first came to prominence for the German national team during the 2008 European Cup, he was a feisty, attack-minded winger who has since converted into a world class deep-lying midfielder known for his extraordinary technical ability, long-range passing, ability to dictate the tempo of a match, positional discipline, and deadly shot from distance.
De Bruyne currently is playing (quite well) in an advanced midfield position, while more recently he has been playing more centrally than he had been originally when he game from Racing Genk. In a perfect world, if I were Michael Emenalo this January, I would be looking to sign a Bastian Schweinsteiger from 3-4 years ago when he was 24 to fill our need in the central midfield. A player who can facilitate the transition from the defence to attack, dictate the tempo of a game, while adding some toughness and grit.
While de Bruyne is far from that at this point in his career, I do feel he has several qualities a young Schweinsteigerhad in his passing range, technical ability, and long range shot. Further, both have nearly identical builds at approximately 6'0'' and 175 lbs. The question remains to be if he can develop the positional discipline, toughness, and tackling ability to make the transition as it would effectively enable Chelsea to fill the central midfield void from within. Obviously, Kevin isn't the only candidate for this transition as many here have alluded to Josh McEachran, Oscar, and more recently David Luiz taking over as the long-term replacement as the creative half of the double pivot.
Unfortunately, I do not have the ability to watch as much football as I would like, nor do I possess a deep understanding of the game. I was hoping to open up the question to the community. Does Kevin de Bruyneresemble a young Bastian Schweinsteiger? Does he show any potential to make a similar transition that Bastian made? Is Kevin destined to be a squad player playing behind Mazacar+Moses?
(Shameless plug - As my favourite player, I always felt Schweinsteiger never received the recognition he deserves when compared to the likes of other great central midfielders or the last 5 years like Xavi Alonso, Luka Modric, Andrea Pirlo, Xavi, etc.)
As always - KTBFFH