We've been hearing rather a lot about Kevin de Bruyne lately, and for all the wrong reasons. The young Belgian, such a standout for Werder Breman last season, came back to Chelsea, lit the place alight during preseason, assisted Oscar for the first goal of the year and has since done... pretty much nothing. It's now December, and a lack of playing time means we're going to be dealing with transfer rumours for the next two months.
Jose Mourinho has already weighed in on the situation, heavily implying that the situation is about to reverse, but it takes two to tango and it's not difficult to suspect that there's now some animosity between de Bruyne and the club. Annoying our top prospects doesn't seem like a particularly clever thing to do.
But apparently we shouldn't be quite so stressed out about it. Goal.com spoke to de Bruyne's agent, Patrick de Koster, and he gives off the impression that the situation is much calmer than it appears:
We will make an evaluation with the club in the next few days and decide what is the best solution. Of course, Kevin is a player who likes to play regularly but we know Chelsea is one of the biggest clubs in the world and there is always going to be competition. He has told me that every day he is training like a demon because it means a lot to him. But I will not say that he has to move in January - we will wait for the evaluation from the club.
Each day I am hearing different rumours - Atletico Madrid, Dortmund, Juventus. It’s good that everybody shows an interest but is is up to Chelsea to decide what to do. For the moment, I have told everybody that we must wait. I have a lot of respect for Chelsea and they have acted in the correct way ever since they signed him from Genk.
So, good news. It's obviously difficult from the outside to determine how a player's feeling, and I'm not going to suggest that this means any differences between Chelsea and de Bruyne are overblown or that we shouldn't fret, but I am less worried about the situation now.
Let's hope for a productive meeting between the club and the player soon. If Mourinho delivers on his promise of more playing time, I can see de Bruyne having a very good 2014 -- but if he can't, it might be time for a loan. The key here is honesty.