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Kevin De Bruyne offers his take on Chelsea snub as he and Mo Salah prove Blues wrong

Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah managed just 16 Premier League appearances between them at Chelsea before becoming superstars at Manchester City and Liverpool respectively

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Kevin De Bruyne has opened up on his and Mohamed Salah’s Chelsea departures, insisting they both needed to leave Stamford Bridge to further their careers.

The Belgium international, 30, was signed by the Blues in January 2012 but made just three Premier League appearances before being flogged to Wolfsburg. He joined Manchester City in 2015 and has since become a two-time PFA Players’ Player of the Year.

Salah, meanwhile, only managed 13 league outings during his 13-month stint in London. After spells with Fiorentina and Roma, the 29-year-old returned to England to win two Premier League Golden Boots (one shared) and is on course to make that three this season.

Both players have won plenty more individual and team honours since leaving Stamford Bridge, yet De Bruyne isn’t bitter about his Chelsea experience. “We were just two good players who didn’t play a lot,” he told The Metro.

“We both needed to gain confidence and get game time and we had to go elsewhere to do that. Maybe it was just a coincidence. You certainly can’t compare me now to what I did then – 10 years in football is your whole life.”

De Bruyne and Salah will meet again on Sunday afternoon, as City welcome Liverpool to the Etihad. The midfielder is looking forward to the clash, with Pep Guardiola’s side sitting just one point ahead of Jurgen Klopp’s Reds in the Premier League title race.

Kevin De Bruyne failed to make the grade at Chelsea


AFP/Getty Images)

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“I think they’re great,” said De Bruyne when asked about Liverpool. “I feel like here are two teams fighting each other so much and both know what it takes to keep pushing and pushing and we are the only teams to have done that for the last five years.

“I like the big matches. It’s two fully attacking teams and our games this season have been entertaining. I can’t remember playing them when it’s been boring.”

City could still have another 14 games to play this season if they reach the final of the FA Cup and Champions League. Liverpool are their opponents in the semi-final of the former competition, while they face Atletico Madrid in the last eight of the latter.

De Bruyne, who has already wracked up 34 appearances in all competitions, admits the schedule is gruelling but is urging his team-mates to continue fighting. “We want to win every game but sometimes you get setbacks,” he continued.

“Even if you don’t make it [winning the league], you have the chance to be part of these things. We are doing what everyone wants to do by being in contention for titles. The schedule is so hectic but we have to make sure we keep winning.

“Fatigue comes into play of course so it is about being as consistent as you possibly can in this period. You have to be fresh as a player and hopefully that helps. The games keep coming every three days until the end now. We know this is the time to push.”

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