Eden Hazard Tells Kevin De Bruyne His Best Option Is to Leave Chelsea

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistNovember 18, 2013

Aug 4, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Chelsea midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (15) celebrates a goal with teammates against AC Milan during the first half at Metlife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin De Bruyne has been advised by club and country teammate Eden Hazard that he should leave Chelsea in order to maintain his hopes of playing a major role at the 2014 World Cup.

Belgian newspaper Nieuwsblad (h/t Daniel Jones of the Metro) quoted Hazard stating the following:

If he does not play, it is better for him to leave. Playing a World Cup after having not played for a year is very difficult.

If we want to get the best from Kevin in the future it is better that he leaves. But he’s a big boy. He must make his own choices.

It's not the first time the former Racing Genk starlet has been tipped to exit Stamford Bridge, either. Belgian national team coach Marc Wilmots was quoted by Hannah Duncan of the Metro remarking that "everyone knows what he's capable of," but that he needs regular first-team football.

It's a conundrum that many are facing as we approach next summer's tournament in Rio, but De Bruyne certainly ranks high among those garnering the most publicity right now.

In late September, Matt Barlow of the Daily Mail reported that the 22-year-old had already been left out of Jose Mourinho's Champions League squad, not to mention he hasn't started a Premier League game since late August.

It's a tough transition for De Bruyne, who appeared to have such a bright path laid in front of him after scoring 10 goals and making nine assists while on loan with Werder Bremen last season, per Transfermarkt.

It was the midfielder's first experience playing in one of Europe's elite leagues after moving from his native Belgium and appeared to confirm that the hype around his name was well deserved.

However, Hazard's comments confirm that the hype is officially diminishing. If De Bruyne is ever to fulfil expectations, it seems increasingly likely it will happen outside the walls of Stamford Bridge.

Hazard: Tough love on his teammate or giving the wrong advice?
Hazard: Tough love on his teammate or giving the wrong advice?Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Wolfsburg are reported by Craig Hope of the Daily Mail as being one of the teams looking to bring De Bruyne back for a second Bundesliga stint, but interest around his services is bound to increase in coming weeks.