One might argue that a player who costs £55m, according to BBC Sport, would have something to prove regardless of if their previous spell in the Premier League was a disaster.
But new Manchester City signing Kevin de Bruyne confidently batted away Garth Crooks’s accusations that he needs to prove himself in England after his failed spell at Chelsea.
De Bruyne added in an interview with BBC Sport: “I know that a lot of people are talking about that I need to come back to prove that I’m a good player, but I think that I showed that I’ve been a good player already in Germany, what is also a very good league.
“Of course I didn’t play a lot in the Premier League. Hopefully I can do well now that I’m here but I don’t have the feeling that I need to prove something because the first period wasn’t that good.”
Surely the Belgian is kidding himself? To say that the first period “wasn’t that good” is an understatement. He played just nine times for Chelsea, with only three of those appearances coming in the Premier League, and failed to score following his £6.7m arrival from Racing Genk [fee reported by BBC Sport].
He has rebuilt his reputation with a breakthrough stint at Wolfsburg, helping them win a first ever German Cup and finish second in the Bundesliga to Bayern Munich in the 2014-15 season.
In his 18 months at Wolfsburg, De Bruyne scored 20 goals and provided 37 assists at a rate of better than one every two games, earning his shot at Premier League redemption with the Citizens, who made him British football’s second most expensive recruit ever behind Angel Di Maria.
De Bruyne could make his first City start when Manuel Pellegrini’s men welcome West Ham United to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening. Whatever he claims, he has everything to prove.