Guus Hiddink has described former Chelsea forward Kevin De Bruyne as a “beautiful” player to watch play and says the Belgian has done well to develop into a fine talent at Manchester City.
De Bruyne shone on his return to Stamford Bridge on Saturday after playing a key role in Sergio Aguero’s first two goals while coming close to scoring too.
The 24-year-old spoke this week about his departure from Chelsea to Wolfsburg in January 2014, and said the transfer came about because then-Blues boss Jose Mourinho was unfair to him and wouldn’t give him the regular playing time he desired.
After being voted as the Bundesliga player of the year by journalists during his time in Germany and impressing for City since sealing a £55million move to the Etihad Stadium last summer, Hiddink concedes De Bruyne has honed his skills superbly away from Chelsea.
When asked whether he would have sold De Bruyne in the same manner that Chelsea did two years ago, Hiddink said: “It’s always easy to give analysis now about that, but you have to take into consideration why it was made at that time.
“Was it competition with the other midfielders? I cannot answer that. But he developed himself very well and it’s good to see.”
He added: “He was very keen in playing in between the lines but all the players are. He is a beautiful player to see. The difference between us and Man City is that they need one-and-a-half chance and they score.”
Manuel Pellegrini also praised the impact of De Bruyne – who scored a vital goal against PSG to help book City’s place in the Champions League semi finals on Tuesday – since he arrived in a club-record transfer.
When questioned whether De Bruyne was more motivated to do well against Chelsea because of the way they let him go, the City boss said: “No, I don’t think he was thinking about that.
“The way he has been playing and the way he played before his injury, we are very happy and that’s the reason why we got him here.”
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