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De Bruyne felt he couldn’t speak up at Mourinho’s Chelsea

Chelsea v Singha Thailand All-Star XI

BANGKOK, THAILAND - JULY 17: Kevin De Bruyne of Chelsea is checked by Rangsan Singha Thailand All-Star XI during the international friendly match between Chelsea FC and the Singha Thailand All-Star XI at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand on July 17, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand. (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)

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Kevin De Bruyne’s on-field acumen has rarely been in question, and Pep Guardiola hasn’t been critical of the Belgian midfielder in Manchester City training either.

That’s a departure from De Bruyne’s first run through the Premier League, a tenure at Chelsea that featured just nine appearances and plenty of criticism from Jose Mourinho.

[ MORE: Rojo could face ban for stamp on Hazard ]

De Bruyne, now 25, spoke about that time during an interview with France Football, translated by, and says he actually wished Mourinho would’ve opened his training sessions to the public.

“It is true that he said that in the press, yes. ... That I wasn’t doing what was needed in training. It was easy to say that because there was no-one to check it – the training sessions were closed to the public. But everyone knows I am not like that.

“I never let anyone put me down. I say what I have to say, with respect of course. But at that moment, I couldn’t do anything because he would have said I was lying and afterwards he would have used it.”

With De Bruyne playing well at City and Mourinho in the news across town for, well, not playing well with others, it’s easy to back De Bruyne here. It could make for added drama in the next Manchester Derby, which rarely needs additional subplots.

The Belgian’s situation is a bit like Paul Pogba’s at Man Utd, although KDB obviously didn’t head back to the same club after a world class tenure away from the Premier League.

Man City has a 5-3 lead over Monaco heading into Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg at the Stade Louis II.

Follow @NicholasMendola