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Thomas Tuchel explains the one reason Chelsea should not regret on the sale of Kevin De Bruyne.

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Thomas Tuchel explains the one reason Chelsea should not regret on the sale of Kevin De Bruyne.

Thomas Tuchel explains the one reason Chelsea should not regret on the sale of Kevin De Bruyne.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea didn’t make a big error in selling Kevin De Bruyne to Wolfsburg in 2014 as there was no certainty he would produce his enormous potential at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea signed the Belgian from Genk in January 2012 but it wasn’t until the 2013/14 season that he was fused into the club’s first-team squad. Jose Mourinho was in the management of Chelsea at that time and immediately ruled the midfielder wasn’t ready for the demands of Premier League football.

De Bruyne was then sold to Bundesliga side Wolfsburg in January 2014 for £18million. Less than 18 months later, De Bruyne was signed by Manchester City for £50million and has gone from strength to strength.

Chelsea plays Manchester City where De Bruyne will be awaiting to win his third Premier League title with City. Thomas Tuchel can, at least momentarily, stop that.

In the Blues starting XI at the Etihad is likely to be Timo Werner and Kai Havertz. The German duo arrived for big prices last summer and have needed time to adjust to the requirements of Premier League football.

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They have experienced the endurance De Bruyne was never given. Yet Tuchel believes Chelsea shouldn’t rue permitting the 29-year-old to leave Stamford Bridge.

He said: “I know you can get caught up in these thoughts that it was maybe a big mistake to let him [De Bruyne] go but you never know because you don’t know what might have happened if he didn’t change club and go back to Germany from Chelsea.

“Maybe he needed it at that time: a different league, a different challenge to now be at the best level he’s ever reached. He’s so influential at City and is even the captain of this amazing and so successful team.

“You never know, maybe it was exactly the right thing for him. Maybe he would’ve taken the same route if he’d stayed and fought his way through but it’s hard to tell.

“This league here, because you’ve drawn a comparison to Kai [Havertz] and Timo [Werner’s] situation, either you do it or you don’t. It’s as simple as that. This league is the best league to do it or not do it.

“It challenges every player and coach at the highest level in football and you have only two possibilities: you step up and adapt or you don’t. And if you don’t you don’t make it in this league.

“This is why I am happy that Timo and Kai stepped out of their comfort zone, took this adventure and a huge challenge to come to England, go abroad, the hardest league, a tough club with a real winning mentality, one where it’s not about second or third place.

“This is bravery and the right step to bring out the very best of them. It’s very good because the league demands it, the challenge of the league demands it. It sharpens their character and mentality. This is what we can see. They are still on their way, they are young and we will push them. It’s a process.

“For some, it’s faster and others slower. But we will never lose patience and as long as they are Chelsea players they get full support.”

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Thomas Tuchel explains the one reason Chelsea should not regret on the sale of Kevin De Bruyne.

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