• Manchester City midfielder has thrived since 2014 sale to Wolfsburg
• ‘There’s no bad feeling at all, it’s part of life. It’s a business’
Kevin De Bruyne did his best to insist all parties had moved on and, in truth, it was hardly an opportune moment to reveal any lingering bitterness. After all it was barely an hour since he had rasped in a glorious winning goal for the current league leaders at the reigning champions and, back in the stadium’s media room, Pep Guardiola was still busy lauding the Belgian’s natural talent and eager work rate, declaring him one of the team’s “captains” who can “do absolutely everything”.
Yet there had to be some mention of that stunted spell as a Chelsea player, a period that yielded as many loans away as Premier League starts – two – before a sale to Wolfsburg in 2014 from which he has never looked back. The sight of De Bruyne dictating occasions such as that on Saturday will always prompt thoughts of what might have been in a corner of south-west London. “But I’ve no regrets over anything that happened,” the playmaker said. “I don’t think they have regrets: they’ve won two league titles since I’ve been gone, so they’ve done fairly well. That’s the way it goes, it’s a business. At that point it was a good decision for me to go and maybe for them it was also good to let me go. There’s no bad feeling at all. It’s just part of life and you need to grow up.”