New Manchester City signing Kevin De Bruyne wants to seize his second chance
Kevin De Bruyne has vowed to seize his second chance in the Premier League after Manchester City broke their transfer record for a player cast off by Chelsea just 18 months ago.
It is understood City have invested around £54million in the Belgian attacking midfielder, who after a stellar season at Wolfsburg was named Germany's footballer of the year in July.
De Bruyne is best known in England as the player Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho offloaded before supporters barely had a glimpse of him in royal blue.
Days before De Bruyne decamped to the Bundesliga in January 2014, Mourinho said: "We know that Kevin didn't adapt very well to the difficult life a Chelsea player has."
But in the sky blue of his new club, De Bruyne has vowed to help City clinch trophies as they attempt to wrench back the Premier League title from Mourinho's Chelsea.
"I just want to win," said the 24-year-old. "I won two cups at Wolfsburg and I just want to keep on winning, and I think here's a good chance to win some titles with a team who have a lot of quality players."
He will compete with the likes of David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Samir Nasri for the attacking midfield role he covets, with Manuel Pellegrini now possessing luxurious options as City compete for silverware in the domestic game and the Champions League. The £49million signing of Sterling was City's priciest deal before the acquisition of De Bruyne.
Joining his new team-mates, and playing behind master finisher Sergio Aguero, is a thrilling prospect for the new arrival.
"I think it's the best you can have as a player. I want to reach the highest level possible," De Bruyne told City's website.
"The most important thing is at the end of the season we can be happy and maybe have some titles."
De Bruyne has signed a six-year contract and boss Pellegrini said : "We are very happy to have added Kevin to our team and I have no doubt that he will be a big success on his return to the Premier League.
"It takes a special footballer to improve our squad and I have no doubt that Kevin is certainly one of those - he has all of the mental, physical, tactical and technical attributes required to fit straight in."
De Bruyne forged his reputation as a creative player and a goal threat at his first club, Genk, and joined Chelsea in January 2012, but started only five competitive matches during his time with the west London club.
He stayed at Genk on loan for the remaining months of the 2011-12 season before spending the following campaign at Werder Bremen, again on loan. After barely six months of Mourinho starting his second spell as Chelsea manager, the Portuguese manager decided De Bruyne was a footballer he could afford to lose.
The Belgium international played a starring role in Wolfsburg finishing second in last season's Bundesliga, scoring 10 times and claiming 20 assists.
However the club could not compete with City's ''astonishing'' salary offer to De Bruyne, Wolfsburg director of sport Klaus Allofs acknowledged on Thursday.
De Bruyne joins a team eager to reposition themselves as the best in the Premier League, after titles in 2012 and 2014.
Chelsea are already eight points behind fast-starting City this season, after just four rounds of games.
City beat Watford 2-0 on Saturday and t heir record stands at played four, won four, with 10 goals scored and none conceded.
"It's the perfect start," De Bruyne said. "Hopefully we can do the same after the national break and hopefully I can help the club with winning games."
While Chelsea could not accommodate him in a talent-stacked midfield, De Bruyne will hope there is a regular berth at City.
Where he best slots in is the conundrum for Pellegrini.
"That's the question of my career," De Bruyne said. "I think my best position will be attacking midfielder but I can do my thing in other positions and I'm not focused on the one position."
De Bruyne joins Belgium national team colleague Vincent Kompany at the Etihad Stadium, and the pair discussed the move before it was completed.
"He's a phenomenal player," Kompany said. "If you go through a season he gets assists and goals and he's always involved in everything that's positive going forward."