Kevin De Bruyne was advised to join Liverpool two years before Manchester City suffered yet another Champions League nightmare.
The playmaker endured heartbreak in Europe’s most prestigious competition on Wednesday as City let a 5-3 lead on aggregate slip at Real Madrid. City were 1-0 up on the night courtesy of Riyad Mahrez’s 76th minute goal, but suffered a meltdown in stoppage time as Los Blancos hero Rodrygo came on to score twice.
De Bruyne, who was taken off at 0-0, was helpless while his side conceded a penalty in extra-time, which Karim Benzema converted to win the game 3-1 (6-5 aggregate). And it appears the Belgian midfielder could have avoided heartbreak by listening to Stan Collymore’s advice back in 2020.
The pundit called for De Bruyne to leave City after he had just been named PFA Player of the Year. He suggested the 30-year-old should join Jurgen Klopp’s side, where he could have “stamped his greatness” and been a “perfect fit”.
Collymore wrote in The Mirror: “Isn’t it time he tested himself at Real Madrid, a rejuvenated Barcelona or – here’s one to put the cat among the pigeons – Liverpool?
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“De Bruyne hasn’t yet played for a massive club because Chelsea and Manchester City come with B-grade expectations. At Wolfsburg, it’s a C and Belgium are more of a dark horse than front-runner.”
He added: “The only way he can really stamp his greatness on the game is by joining a club at which he’d have A* expectations and, at the height of his powers, there isn’t a better time for him to do that. De Bruyne would be the perfect fit for Liverpool.
“He could go in and run a midfield which already has all the attributes to get the best out of him. He could make them a truly great side, one which wins multiple Premier League and Champions League titles.”
De Bruyne has since gone on to win another league title under Pep Guardiola, but has constantly fallen short of achieving his Champions League ambitions with the club. While City crashed out to Real, league rivals Liverpool secured their third appearance in the final since 2018, having won the competition in 2019.
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