Player Profile – Kevin De Bruyne

Youngster De Bruyne Can Shine Brightly For Chelsea This Season

At the start of pre-season there was talk of Kevin De Bruyne going back out on loan, Jose Mourinho however, was having none of that.

Personal information
Full name: Kevin De Bruyne
Date of birth: 28 June 1991 (age 22)
Place of birth: Drongen, Belgium
Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[2]
Playing position: Attacking midfielder

Club information
Current club: Chelsea
Number: 15

Youth career
1997–1999 KVV Drongen
1999–2005 Gent
2005–2008 Racing Genk

Senior career
2008–2012 Racing Genk 107 Appearances, 17 Goals
2012– Chelsea 1 Appearance, 0 Goals
2012–2013 → Werder Bremen (loan) 33 Appearances, 10 Goals

National team
2008–2009 Belgium U18 7 Appearances, 1 Goal
2009 Belgium U19 10 Appearances, 1 Goal
2011 Belgium U21 2 Appearances, 0 Goals
2010– Belgium 12 Appearances, 3 Goals

De Bruyne caught the eye of many spectators in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Hull last weekend.

Signing on from Belgian club Genk for £7 million, and loaned back for the rest of the season, De Bruyne spent last season on loan at Bundesliga club Werder Bremen, gaining valuable first team experience.

He was a standout performer in an otherwise poor Werder Bremen side last season, providing ten goals and nine assists in 33 appearances as well as picking up seven man of the match awards. A brief look at his stats also reveals that he had the third most key passes in the Bundesliga, as well as averaging the fourth most crosses (accurate) per game.

De Bruyne is a naturally gifted footballer, and looks in his element with the ball at his feet, showing incredible footwork and trickery. Very much an attack-minded midfield player, his movement and vision can create chances out of nothing, and his delivery in the final third is exceptionally efficient.

It seems intriguing that such a talented man would be making his debut a year-and-a-half after he had signed for the side.

The new Blues no.15 produced a confident performance, underlined by the 22-year-old's willingness to have a shot as soon as being presented with the opportunity, but also produced some incisive passes to open up the opposition.

De Bruyne was credited with the assist of the opening goal on 13 minutes scored by attacking midfield partner, Oscar, with a delightful pass through the legs of Hull defender, James Chester.

However, there was more to De Bruyne's debut than a few shots and neat passes; the former Werder Bremen loanee also showed efficient defensive capabilities in the 66 minute run-out which will be seen as encouraging to Mourinho who builds his sides on defensive solidarity.

The Belgian had been linked with moves away from west London with Champions League finalists, Borussia Dortmund, among the European powerhouses interested in taking the £15m-rated man, which were quickly stamped out upon the self-proclaimed 'Special One' returning to Stamford Bridge.

The Portuguese decided to keep De Bruyne in his plans after observing him closely in his national side's 2-1 win over Serbia in a World Cup qualifier, in which he got himself on the scoresheet in such a high-profile match.

De Bruyne's ability to deliver on the big stage has left him with quite the reputation to anyone who has watched him closely for the past two years or so.

His productive outing at the Bundesliga outfit has seen him develop a great deal of maturity in his play, which was noticeably not there when his Genk side met Chelsea in the Blues Champions League winning campaign.

Now that he has developed into the player we saw on Sunday, it seems Mourinho is ready to put his faith in the youngster, with the former Real Madrid manager claiming he will be a "key man".

He is a confident lad, not afraid to take on a shot, much like Frank Lampard. The physical nature of the Premier League will not be a problem for him. He’s a strong lad who can hold players off. He’s also a powerful runner who can play right, left, or centrally behind the main striker. He will also score goals.

Very much a part of the new golden generation of Belgian footballers coming through at the moment, De Bruyne is a particularly entertaining player to watch and there’s little doubt that he will play a big part in the Chelsea campaign this season.