English Premiership

Blues' youth to get a chance

2015-04-21 11:29
Jose Mourinho (AFP)

Cape Town - Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insists that he will promote one or two academy players to the first team, but will not fill the squad with youths.

Mourinho is not known for giving opportunities to untested youngsters and recently claimed that with the "level of demand and responsibility" at the club "there is no space for a player that is not ready".

But although the Portuguese boss isn’t willing to trust an unproven player when the Blues need a result, he says that there will be promotions to the first team for some of the most promising academy products.

"I cannot have a squad of 10 men and 10 kids," he said. "I must have a squad like we have now of 16 or 17 seniors and three or four kids.

"Some of the older ones will go on loan to play every game in the Championship or the Premier League, even abroad.

"And we will bring some of the younger ones into the process. But to have them all at the same time in the first-team squad is hard."

Youngsters such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Dominic Solanke have been hovering around the first team, while Patrick Bamford was recently named Championship Player of the Year while on loan at Middlesborough.

"Next season, Ruben will not be a kid in the development process," Mourinho added. "He will be a first-team player, absolutely ready to play and compete. And we will do the same with two or three or four players.

"Their development is easier when they're training every day with the first-team, doing pre-season, playing some matches, playing 20 minutes or half an hour in an FA Cup match, Capital One Cup match, even a Champions League match or in the league now and again.

"They belong to a process. I can’t have 10 of these young players in my squad but I can have three or four and we did that with Loftus-Cheek, Brown, (Andreas) Christensen and (Nathan) Ake - and Solanke a few times."

While some academy players may get a foot in the door next season, don't expect any unfamiliar faces when the Blues will try to take another step towards the Premier League trophy against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

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