Kevin De Bruyne and Mo Salah never made it to Chelsea due to personality conflicts with Jose Mourinho.
This is according to Eddie Newton, the former head of the Blues’ loan department.
There were brief spells on the sidelines of the first team at Stamford Bridge before both players were sold.
But they have since returned to Manchester City and Liverpool respectively and become two of the best players in the world.
But Newton thinks his Chelsea departure had nothing to do with ability and may blame his relationship with Special One.
49 year old told aim: “I think Salah and De Bruyne weren’t about talent.
“It was a personality struggle [with Jose Mourinho]. I didn’t think it was working at the time.
“I think they were good enough. But it was the manager who didn’t see them face-to-face, so it wasn’t working.”
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Liverpool star Salah moved to West London in 2014 after an impressive two-year run in Switzerland with Basel for £11m.
He was eventually sent on loan to Fiorentina in 2015 – after making just three appearances in the Premier League – and then to Roma who bought him permanently in August 2016.
The Egyptian spent just one year as a permanent Roma player before agreeing to his transfer to Anfield the following summer.
Prior to Salah, De Bruyne was with the Blues – joining Belgium side Genk for two years from 2012 – 2014.
He spent the 2012–13 season on loan with Werder Bremen at the Blues six months earlier, when he moved again – this time to Wolfsburg in a permanent deal in January 2014.
Describing what happened to the Players Tribune in 2019, De Bruyne said: “Mourinho texted me: ‘You are staying. I want you to be part of this team.’
“So I thought, ‘Okay, great. I’m into his plans’.
“Jose called me into his office in December, and it was probably the second big life-changing moment for me.
“He had some papers in front of him, and he said: ‘One assist. Zero goals. Ten recoveries.’ It took me a minute to understand what he was doing.
‘He wanted to leave’
“Then they started reading the stats of the other attackers – Willian, Oscar, Juan Mata, Andre Schurle. And it’s like – five goals, 10 assists, whatever.
“Jose was waiting for me to say something, and at the end I said: ‘But… some of these guys have played 15, 20 games. I’ve only played three. So it’ll be different, no?”
Mourinho gave his version of events to talkSPORT earlier this year.
He said of De Bruyne: “He impressed me so much that I decided I didn’t want this kid to go on loan, I want him to stay, and in our first match of the Premier League season he played against Hull City. started against.
“In the second match we got to Old Trafford and then he came up to me and said: ‘I want to play every match, I want to play every minute.’
“They put a lot of pressure on him.
“He wanted to leave, he wanted to go to Germany where he was on loan before and was very happy, and his decision was to leave.
“They put great pressure on him and it worked out very well for him.”
Another man who has returned to Chelsea after improving himself is Romelu Lukaku.
But Newton insisted the £97.5m Belgium was not the first to make it.
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He continued: “As for Lukaku, he was not ready at the time, and I don’t care what anyone says.
“He just wasn’t ready to be the main No. 9 and take that stage like Didier [Drogba].
“He was always compared to Didier and it was not fair to him at the time. It was different situations for different players.”
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