London, March 27: Playmaker Eden Hazard believes his Belgian compatriot Kevin de Bruyne is good enough to play in the Chelsea first team despite being rejected by manager Jose Mourinho last season.
The Chelsea manager decided to sell De Bruyne to Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg during the January 2014 transfer window after concluding there was no place for him in the first team at the Stamford Bridge, reports dailymail.co.uk.
But de Bruyne, 23, has flourished in Germany, scoring nine goals and contributing 16 assists in the Bundesliga this season, and Hazard has hinted that Mourinho made a misjudgement.
Speaking ahead of Belgium’s Euro 2016 qualifier with Cyprus on Saturday night, Hazard said: “He is a great player. Mourinho decided to let him go and not play him.
“It was not my decision, even though I know very well that he could play at Chelsea because he has tremendous qualities,” he added.
I think at Chelsea, you have more pressure than Wolfsburg. It’s a shame he’s gone but he’ll have a successful career.”
De Bruyne has been linked with a summer move away from Wolfsburg with Bayern Munich and Manchester City among those interested.
Belgium have ground to make up in qualifying Group B. They currently lie fourth behind Israel, Wales and Cyprus with only the top two assured of a place at the finals in France.