Kevin De Bruyne: The Exception To Chelsea's Shrewd Transfer Model
There's not much more football fans cherish than analysing 'silly season' antics of transfer rumours and dealings. And the bigger the players, clubs, managers or what-not involved, the more hyperbole - and inevitable scrutiny or applause - surrounds it.
If you were asked, dead on the spot at this very minute, who is the most successful manager in the transfer market of the last decade, you'd surely have no qualms or hesitation splurging out Jose Mourinho as fast as you can. You wouldn't be wrong.
Especially since his second coming at Chelsea, Mourinho's transfer model has been of shrewd sagacity. To turnover £40million for David Luiz, the world was left in tremendous awe, and a fair few questioning PSG's sanity. Alongside Luiz, selling not-so-wonderkind-anymore Romelu Lukaku for £28million and Andre Schurrle - in January 2015 - for the same, left Mourinho with a jungle cat-like transfer kitty.
In the summer of 2014 he set free that beastly feline, acquiring the talents of Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas, Felipe Luis and then Juan Cuadrado in the January window - as a replacement for Schurrle. Argue the like-ability of the players as much as you want - and for two of those there, there's enough material - but those signings are guiding Chelsea to Mourinho's third Premier League title. With Costa perched joint-top of the Premier League top scorers on 19, and Fabregas sitting comfortably on his gold-coated throne of betrayal and assists on 16; the dynamic Spanish duo are the frontrunners of the 2014/15 campaign.
Believe it or not, but Jose Mourinho does dealings that would put Pablo Escobar to shame. A deep, dark acumen of the transfer market alongside his similarly archaic tactical outlook - Mourinho is the underworld overlord of football prudence. But as every super-villain inevitably does, they let one slip away.
Kevin De Bruyne signed for Chelsea back in 2012 under Villas-Boas, but went straight back on loan to Genk, and then to Werder Bremen the following season. De Bruyne didn't really see Chelsea until Jose Mourinho was already reinstated. After a successful season at Bremen, he was kept in London and told he was in Mourinho's plans, as you would be. De Bruyne played three games and signed for Wolfsburg in January 2014 - for a hefty £18million.
Again, that arrogant smirk was plastered, ear to ear, across Mourinho's face - his very own brand of Chelsea smile.
Mourinho's archetype of tactics and player go hand-in-hand. The tactics are his Skynet, and the players his terminators; calculated, efficient and showing no signs of, well, niceness. Kevin De Bruyne just had too much niceness within him. A literal golden boy with the face of an innocent child and the romantic ability to match. De Bruyne wasn't built for Mourinho's machine-like monastery.
Mourinho has spoken heaps on Oscar's hard-working regime. Jose's fondness for his efficient work-rate complementing and enhancing the side's style. De Bruyne possessed too much footballing beauty to substitute his dreamy and sumptuous number 10 style, for one more robust.
That's Mou's archetype attacking midfielder; a tactically-proven, top-of-the-charts ground covering sniffer hound. What they lack in amorous and passing showboating, they more than make up for in winning the ball back in the final third. Tactics is tactics, and Mourinho likes his a specific way. Very much a system over substance side, but can you blame him when it works?
Then again, it's easier to train and adjust to work-rate, than it is to being the top assister across Europe's top five leagues, isn't it?
It can be argued about all day long, and those in the cult of Mourinho will back his decision until it comes back to bite - which we all really hope it does.
De Bruyne has nine goals and 16 assists in 25 games for Wolfsburg. That's a goal or assist per game. Just for relevance, let's compare that to who De Bruyne would surely replace in the starting 11, Oscar. In 24 games, Oscar has 6 goals and 7 assists, which averages out at a 0.54 per game. Half of De Bruyne.
With De Bruyne linked to the top clubs across all leagues, including the Premier League, he could one day make the move which comes back to smite Mourinho. And as this golden boy wonder continues to effortless castrate teams in the Bundesliga, you can bet yourselves one thing; no plan is a full proof plan, Mourinho.