Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah were MORE THAN good enough for Chelsea – but fell out with Jose Mourinho over ‘personality clashes’, reveals the club’s ex-head of loans Eddie Newton

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  • Eddie Newton opens up about his experience running Chelsea’s loan program
  • Mohamed Salah and Kevin de Bruyne were the two who slipped from their net
  • Newton believes it was not a talent issue but a ‘personality clash’ with the boss
  • Then-manager Jose Mourinho ‘didn’t see him face to face,’ Newton reveals

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Kevin de Bruyne and Mohamed Salah’s former head of their loan department Eddie Newton revealed his Chelsea career was cut short by a ‘personality conflict’ with then-boss Jose Mourinho.

De Bruyne, now one of the world’s best playwrights at Manchester City, and Salah, who has been established as one of Liverpool’s greatest players of all time, have suffered high-profile casualties from Chelsea’s massive loan scheme. There are two of them.


Both slipped through the net of the first team and were eventually sold before expanding their potential elsewhere.

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Kevin De Bruyne (right) Chelsea’s future comes down to ‘personality struggle’ with Jose Mourinho

Mo Salah fails to achieve a major breakthrough after joining Baselli from Chelsea

Eddie Newton played key role in building Chelsea's massive loan program

The same issue hurt Mo Salah, says former head of the loan department Eddie Newton (right)

For Newton, who helped form the department that oversaw the progress of the club’s young players on loan, De Bruyne and Salah’s position did not diminish for talent.

‘I think Salah and De Bruyne weren’t about talent,’ Newton said aim.

‘It was a personality struggle’ [with Jose Mourinho]. I didn’t think it was working at that time.’

Salah made the move to south-west London after an impressive two years in Switzerland, with Basel reported to be worth close to £11 million.

Mourinho publicly criticized Egypt after a League Cup game against Shrewsbury Town – after making just three appearances in the Premier League – before Fiorentina was sent on loan to Italy.

De Bruyne is now one of the best playwrights in the word with Manchester City

Salah has established himself among the gods of Liverpool's greatest players of all time

De Bruyne (left) and Salah (right) have since become world-class talent in England

Salah was one of several changes that gave fringe players the opportunity to impress, but he struggled, as did many, in a 2–1 victory and Mourinho said his next selection was ‘easy’. .

From there he never worked his way back as he went to Fiorentina, flourishing, before being loaned to Roma before making that move permanent.

De Bruyne joined Salah two years before he began his career breakthrough with Genk in his native Belgium.

Just 20 at the time, De Bruyne finished the 2011–12 season with Genk before being immediately loaned to Werder Bremen in Germany for the 2012–13 season.

He impressed in Germany and was told that he would join Mourinho’s plans upon his return but it did not go smoothly upon his return.

explaining what happened Players Tribune in 2019De Bruyne said: ‘Mourinho wrote to me, ‘You’re staying. I want you to be a part of this team’. So I thought, OK, great. I am in his plans.

‘Jose called me into his office in December, and it was probably the second big life-changing moment for me. There were some papers in front of him, and he said, ‘An assist. zero target. Ten recovery.’ It took me a minute to understand what he was doing.

Mourinho's (medium) personality made it difficult for players who had talent, says Newton

Mourinho’s (medium) personality made it difficult for players who had talent, says Newton

‘ Then he began to read the figures of the other attackers – Willian, Oscar, Mata, Shurley. And it’s like that – five goals, 10 assists, whatever.

‘Jose was just 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’s going to be different, no? “”

He was sold to Wolfsburg and within a year he was back in the Premier League with Manchester City, where he had established himself as a Ballon d’Or contender, drawing sharp criticism from Mourinho. .

Defending position this summer, Mourinho told talkSPORT: ‘He impressed me so much that I decided I didn’t want this kid to go on debt, I want him to stay, and in our first match of the Premier League season he started against Hull City.

‘In the second match we went to Old Trafford and after that he came up to me and said, ‘I want to play every match, I want to play every minute’. He put a lot of pressure on it.

‘He wanted to leave, he wanted to go to Germany where he had previously been on debt and was very happy, and his decision was to go. They put a lot of pressure on him and it worked very well for him.

This ‘wasn’t going to work’ for Newton because the manager and the player had two different perspectives.

De Bruyne had 'talent' in eyes of Newton to make grade at Chelsea after positive loan in Germany

Romelu Lukaku left Chelsea as a youngster but lost £98m this summer.  returned for

When De Bruyne (left) was ready, Newton says Romelu Lukaku (right) was not ready to be No.

‘I think they were good enough, but it was the manager who didn’t see them face-to-face, so it wasn’t working,’ Newton said.

Romelu Lukaku, who returned to Stamford Bridge this summer for £98m, was another who passed away as a youngster.

But in this instance, Newton feels the Belgian was unprepared to establish himself as Chelsea’s No. 9 at the time of his career.

Newton said, ‘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 that time. There were different conditions for different players.


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