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José Mourinho ‘sorry’ for not giving Kevin De Bruyne more chances

Chelsea boss José Mourinho praises Kevin De Bruyne's much-improved attitude and underlines his desire to keep the Belgian

Kieran Beckles
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José Mourinho signed a four-year deal with Chelsea in JunePhoto: The Sport Review

José Mourinho says he feels “sorry” for not giving Kevin De Bruyne more chances so far this season – but has outlined his desire to keep the Belgian beyond January.

The 22-year-old has found his first-team opportunities limited since returning from a season-long loan at Werder Bremen last season, making just three Premier League appearances.

With De Bruyne part of the Belgian set-up ahead of next summer’s World Cup, the former Anderlecht man’s lack of playing time has inevitably seen him linked with a move away from the Blues, with Atlético Madrid reportedly interested.

Hopefully I can give him enough time on the pitch so he decides to stay in happy way

José Mourinho on Kevin De Bruyne

However, Mourinho has been impressed by De Bruyne’s ever-improving attitude and confirmed that the playmaker will be getting first-team minutes in the coming months, starting with a spot in Wednesday’s line-up at Sunderland.

“Kevin is showing big desire and is working really hard. I feel sorry for not giving him big opportunities,” said Mourinho.

“He’s working better than ever. It’s sad when he isn’t selected and not playing. He’s working in a very professional way which is a change from the beginning.

“When he is working the way that he is working, he has to play sooner rather than later. For tomorrow, he is selected. He has a chance to play. In this block of matches, he has to start matches.”

Asked about De Bruyne’s future beyond January, Mourinho added: “I have to analyse the situation and try to be fair with him.

“I like him as a player and I learn now how to like him as a kid because he’s a good kid. Hopefully I can give him enough time on the pitch so he decides to stay in happy way.

“He plays in an area of the pitch where we have more options. I am speaking with him and we are working on that.”

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