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Mikel Obi Reveals the Reason Behind De Bruyne and Salah’s Failure at Chelsea



Mikel Obi sheds light on why De Bruyne and Salah didn’t succeed at Chelsea

 Former Chelsea midfielder, Mikel Obi, has revealed the reasons why Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah failed to make an impact at Stamford Bridge, according to PUNCH Sports Extra.

Both players had unsuccessful stints at Chelsea before becoming the superstars they are today at Manchester City and Liverpool, respectively. The missed opportunities have left those affiliated with Chelsea wondering what could have been if they had stayed at the club.

De Bruyne, who is now a crucial player in City’s midfield, has won 13 major titles since joining the club in 2015, including last season’s Treble.

However, Mikel reveals that De Bruyne’s commitment and performance levels were not always at their peak during his time with the Blues, especially in training sessions.

During an episode of the Obi One Podcast, the former Nigerian captain disclosed that the Belgian midfielder was a lackluster trainer and had conflicts with teammate Samuel Eto’o, who was frustrated with his poor work ethic.

“I think Kevin De Bruyne wasn’t the best trainer back then,” Mikel told the Obi One Podcast.

“He would come to training and because he wasn’t playing much, he always had his head down, looking angry and sulking. He was like a kid who came to the playground and nobody wanted to play with him.

“I remember when Samuel Eto’o confronted him, and they had a massive fight on the training ground because De Bruyne didn’t put in the effort that Eto’o expected. They had a huge argument on the pitch.”

De Bruyne’s departure coincided with Salah’s arrival, but the Egyptian didn’t fare much better. He had limited playing time over his 18 months at Chelsea before being loaned to Fiorentina in February 2015.

Although Salah didn’t cause as much turmoil among teammates as De Bruyne did, he did attract the wrath of then-manager Jose Mourinho, who reduced him to tears during halftime of a match.

“They were unfortunate that Mourinho, the boss, would not tolerate any shortcomings,” Mikel said.

“If you weren’t doing your job, it didn’t matter who you were; he would call you out.

“Mourinho once confronted Salah during halftime, and he was crying. We thought he would let him back on the pitch, but instead, Mourinho criticized him and substituted him. However, that was his mentality back then. I don’t think Mourinho would do that now.

“He has matured and knows how to handle younger players and players in general much better now.

“That’s how he brought out the best in us and that’s why we were successful, because of how he wanted us to play, train, and behave as players.”

Chelsea’s loss turned out to be a gain for City and Liverpool, but Mikel acknowledges the hard work that De Bruyne and Salah put in to achieve their superstar status today.

“We didn’t expect them to be where they are today, but credit to them for improving and becoming superstars,” he said.

“When I watch Kevin De Bruyne play today, I can’t believe it’s the same guy!”