On This Day in 2015: Manchester City sign Kevin De Bruyne

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Manchester City signed Kevin De Bruyne for a then-club record fee on this day in 2015.

De Bruyne joined from German outfit Wolfsburg, and the reported £55m fee was the then-second highest paid by a British club after Manchester United’s £59.7m signing of Angel Di Maria the previous summer.

The Belgium international had previously spent an unhappy two-year spell in England at Chelsea between 2012 and 2014.

Kevin De Bruyne in action for Chelsea against Hull in 2013
Kevin De Bruyne has put his unhappy spell at Chelsea firmly behind him (Nick Potts/PA)

He started only five games – two in the Premier League and three in the League Cup – for Chelsea and was shipped out on loan to Genk and Werder Bremen during his time at Stamford Bridge.

De Bruyne, then 24, said: “I want to reach the highest level possible as a player and I think the most important thing is that at the end of the season we can be happy and maybe have some titles.”

He agreed a six-year deal and was ambitious City’s fourth summer arrival after Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph and Nicolas Otamendi.

“It takes a special player to improve our squad,” then-City manager Manuel Pellegrini said. “We like to play attacking, attractive football. Bringing in a player like this will only aid us.

“He has all of the mental, physical, tactical and technical attributes required to fit straight in.”

2021 PFA Winners
De Bruyne won the PFA player of the year in 2021 (The PFA)

De Bruyne has gone on to become one of the world’s best players at the Etihad Stadium.

He has made over 300 appearances for City, scoring 87 goals and ranking eighth all-time for Premier League assists with 89, while filling up his trophy cabinet at regular intervals.

De Bruyne has won four Premier League titles, one FA Cup, five League Cups and been a Champions League runner-up.

He was named the PFA Player of the Year in 2020 and 2021 and the best Champions League midfielder in 2020 in becoming a cornerstone of Pep Guardiola’s City side.