Kevin De Bruyne, Can Werder Keep Him? Can They Afford to Let Him Go Back?

by Andrew Smith

This season Werder Bremen has been nothing but mid-table, rising no higher than 7th, but never really being in the relegation discussion as they haven’t dropped below 13th so far. Many clubs would be pleased with this, but Bremen won the league as recently as the 2003-2004 season and have finished 2nd for the Meisterschale to Bayern Munich in both the 2005-2006 and 2007-2008 seasons, so expectations are just a little higher there. The club has had many steady performers this season, including leading scorer Nils Petersen and Austrian Marko Arnautovic.

But this season, the Green & White’s best player has been on-loan Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne. The 21 year old has been crucial since arriving from Chelsea, netting 5 goals and 7 assists. His assist of Nils Petersen leveled the score against Freiburg before the team went down this past weekend. This has been a great addition to the squad, but it’s time for squads like Bremen to start thinking towards next season. So should Bremen make an offer for De Bruyne, and then we need to wonder if they can afford to retain him?

The little Belgian was purchased by Chelsea in January 2012 for €8 Million, from K.R.C. Genk where he was immediately returned on loan. He has not yet featured for the London club outside of 2 club friendlies in the United States. There would be no doubt that he would want to play for Chelsea, but do Chelsea still need him? Since he arrived at the London club, they have purchased many attacking players, including Eden Hazard, Oscar, and Juan Mata. So when he returns to the squad, will there be a spot on the field for him? Mata and Hazard have adjusted quite well to the rigors of the Premier League, and Oscar is proving to be a talent for the future.

With spots rarely opening up, and the club having considerable depth Roman Abramovich might choose to let Kevin move on in order to help fund new purchases. Abramovich wouldn’t necessarily need to turn a profit on the player in order to let him leave, but getting something close to the €8 Million Chelsea paid for him should do the trick.

According to transfermarkt.co.uk, we see that recently Werder’s finances have been selling more than buying. Listed below are the final balance sheet accounts for the past 3 seasons:

2012-2013: -880,000€
2011-2012: +10,076,000€
2010-2011: +4,628,800€

This does not paint the full picture of the club’s fortunes however. In November the club announced that they would post a loss of €22.1 million. Taking into account the profit of €8.2 million, which is the second highest the club has ever had, they now stand with a negative balance of €13.9 million. This can be entirely attributed with a sharp decline of revenue of 24.2 million Euros, down to 95.6 million.

This is the first time since the 2006-2007 fiscal year that the club’s revenue did not exceed €100 Million Euros. This steep drop in revenue can be almost entirely attributed to the fact that the club lost out on Champions League income. On top of this the club also took a smaller shirt deal with poultry company Wiesenhof, for just under €5.75 million Euros. This is a 35 percent decline from their deal with TargoBank.

While this is a far from certain move, I believe that it is one that makes sense for both clubs. Chelsea have clearly found their attacking players for the future and can work towards balancing their budget in preparation of the coming Financial Fair Play rules and Bremen gets a talented youngster that can be the focal point of their midfield for seasons to come. If necessary I am sure that a “buyback” clause can be inserted so Chelsea can have a chance to bring him back without having to battle other clubs for his signature.

This would also help De Bruyne continue to grow as a player rather than sitting on the bench, which could hurt his chances of figuring into the Belgian National Squad. To continue playing a role for the Diables Rouges, who look to have an excellent chance of qualifying for the World Cup next year, he will certainly need to be getting game time. And that is something that would not be guaranteed if he returns to Chelsea.

Werder have had sold some great talent in recent years, with Per Mertesacker, Marko Marin, Claudio Pizzaro, and Mesut Ozil all leaving in the past. If they want start challenging the upper echelon of the league again, then they need to bring high caliber players to the club, otherwise they will not be challenging for titles like they were just a handful of seasons ago. Keeping Kevin De Bruyne for less than €10 million will be a coup for the club in reaching this goal.

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Author:Andrew Smith

Born in Indiana, Andrew is a 27 year old Social Studies teacher who has traveled to Germany on multiple occaisions. He enjoys learning more of the tactical side of the game, and can be followed on Twitter at andsmith_46.
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