Kevin de Bruyne - Be excited, Chelsea fans
It’s about time we took a look at Kevin de Bruyne and how he’s doing in Germany. The 21-year old Belgian midfielder has been on loan in Germany with Werder Bremen for the past campaign, and will be back playing with us next season. Because this will more or less be like signing a new player, each an every Chelsea fan should be paying great attention to his performances in the Bundesliga.
To begin, I’m a huge fan. I’ve seen nothing but YouTube highlights of his time in Belgium, but I’ve watched some games of his in Germany and caught up with a lot of highlights, and he looks like he’s going to be the real deal. Here are a few stats, comparing him to our current attacking midfielders:
Some very promising stats indeed. What stands out though as something he will need to improve on is his pass accuracy. It’s not that bad by any means though, and it will be lowered by the fact that Bremen, from what I can tell, play more direct football than us, rather than letting the play build. He also seems to like attempting long balls and more difficult passes when I watch him, which he is very good at, but will nonetheless lower his passing accuracy.
It’s his cross accuracy that I’m impressed with however, and I’m also very pleased that he is proficient with this skill. I feel like our ability to pick out a man in the box has been sub-standard this season. Azpillicueta is the only consistent crosser we have, in my opinion. So to have somebody who can deliver free kicks and crosses with more accuracy will be welcomed.
One thing to keep in mind as well is that he has been compared with our attacking midfielders here, appropriate in the sense that he has been playing a similar role as them, though sometimes wide and sometimes from a deeper position (and sometimes even as the striker!). However, when he comes back to Chelsea, given our attacking talent, I expect he’ll be playing in the double-pivot.
A word of caution to this tale now. At the beginning of February, an article came out that really made me worry about how Chelsea are handling him while he’s in Germany. He was asked by a journalist on whether he would be playing at Chelsea next season, and he had this to say:
I’ll make a confession: I do not think so. In Bremen I do not even talk of Chelsea. What I am interested in at the moment is picking up more points with Werder. Recently, a Chelsea scout came to see me play against Hamburg, talked to me for five minutes after the game, with the message ‘well your progress continues’.
It doesn’t sound like he is being handled as well as Courtois and Lukaku are (for example). They have both said that they are in contact with Chelsea on a weekly basis, and seem to appreciate the club’s interest in them. It does not look like de Bruyne is getting the same treatment, for some reason.
He may have said that he doesn’t think he will be with us next season, but I would be amazed if we didn’t bring him back. I wouldn’t take that comment to heart, but it certainly seems like we need to be treating him better. I’m sure we want him, and we just to make sure that after all this he still wants us!
I find myself saying this all too often. Chelsea, don’t you dare mess this up. I’m warning you…