Vanhaezebrouck on De Bruyne and comparisons with Johan Cruijff

As one Chelsea fan was asking about the comments made regarding Kevin De Bruyne on Monday night, here is a quick summary of what was said.

Kortrijk coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck had a short and unsuccessful stint at Genk, when Kevin De Bruyne was coming through the ranks, though it should be noted his first-team debut came under interim boss Pierre Denier. He had the following to say about the Chelsea player, currently on loan at Werder Bremen, on VRT’s flagship football discussion show, Extra Time:

“He’s just sheer quality”

Asked by Sporza commentator Filip Joos whether his own attacking midfielder Brecht Dejaegere could ever reach De Bruyne’s level, Vanhaezebrouck replied in the negative, going on to justify his answer:

“Brecht (Dejaegere) can progress and can play at a higher level. Why do I say that? Because I see Kevin as eventually becoming one of the top players in the world. Kevin has so much more (than Brecht). Kevin sees everything. He sees you sitting there, he even sees two studios down!”

Joos then asked whether De Bruyne’s best position in the long-term was centrally:

“Yes. If the Rode Duivels (Belgium) are ahead, you should play him upfront. Give him possession and he can kill the game, even leading to a second goal. He’s so good at playing a possession game. He’s simply sublime.”

Host Frank Raes then pointed out that Vanhaezebrouck had evoked comparisons with the legendary Johan Cruijff:

“Yes and I stick by that. He is no Cruijff but he is the type of player who is so decisive for a team, or will be. He can speed things up, he can slow things down, he can play a long ball, he can play a short one. He doesn’t have the big mouth of Cruijff but he can play a similar sort of role on the pitch.”

NB: This is not a verbatim account so do not take it to be one! Now back to catching up on my soaps. Unless Leekens gets the boot that is!




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