Kevin De Bruyne has been explaining his reasons for walking away from Chelsea, with the Belgian admitting that he never expected to a become superstar at Manchester City.
The Belgian midfielder severed ties with those at Stamford Bridge in January 2014, having previously headed through the exits to take in a loan spell at Werder Bremen in 2012-13.
His stock soared in German football, having struggled to make an impact in west London, and he admits to having hit a career low as he bid farewell to England.
What has been said?
De Bruyne has told Sky Sports on his reasons for leaving Chelsea: “I decided to go away because I felt I didn’t have any chances of playing at the time.
“I didn’t see more opportunities coming so for me, it was the best decision to leave Chelsea and go to a situation where I felt I could start again.
“Did I expect it to go this way? Obviously not because at that time it was a low point in my career but I never had any doubt in my abilities as a football player.
“I can't think what is going to happen eight years down the line playing for City, in World Cups and all that stuff. It’s wonderful.”
How many games did De Bruyne play for Chelsea?
Chelsea put a deal in place for a highly-rated playmaker during the winter transfer window of 2011.
A five-and-a-half-year contract was signed, but it quickly became apparent that De Bruyne was going to struggle for game time under Jose Mourinho.
After taking in a stint with Bremen, just nine appearances were taken in across all competitions during the 2013-14 campaign.
He linked up with Wolfsburg midway through that season and sought to put a forgettable stint with Premier League heavyweights behind him.
How much did De Bruyne cost Man City?
After three productive years in the Bundesliga, De Bruyne started to register on recruitment radars across Europe once more.
He was eventually snapped up by City for a club-record £55 million ($76m) in the summer of 2015.
De Bruyne has starred for the Blues and will make his 250th appearance for the club if he figures in a derby date with Manchester United on Sunday – with 60 goals and 105 assists recorded across those outings.
The 29-year-old reigning PFA Player of the Year has helped City to two Premier League titles and domestic cup triumphs during his time in Manchester, with a historic quadruple still on the cards for Pep Guardiola’s side in 2020-21.