Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has hit out at youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek for his performance against Sydney FC earlier today.
The 19-year-old has been tipped as one for the future, and Mourinho has previously confirmed that the talented youngster will be in his first team squad next season.
However his future at Chelsea has been thrown into doubt after Mourinho singled him out for criticism following the Blues 1-0 win which came courtesy of a Loic Remy strike. The midfielder came on as a substitute in the 41st minute but was off the pitch less than half hour later after complaining of a back injury.
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Mourinho was less than impressed with Loftus-Cheek's commitment and admitted their relationship has 'taken a step back'.
"He said it was a pain in his back but to me it looked like he only had that pain when Sydney had the ball," the Chelsea boss told reporters after the game. "You could see some tired performances but performances where the senior players really tried to play football.
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"I'm happy with my senior players, it's been a very long season for them."
Mourinho handed Loftus-Cheek the chance to start in two of Chelsea's last three Premier League games after they had secure the title, however where he stands now remains to be seen. The Portuguese boss has made light work of players he's deemed to be not trying hard enough, selling on both Kevin de Bruyne and Juan Mata after publicly criticising their efforts.
Mourinho has been criticised for not bringing through Chelsea's young players, with John Terry the only player to successfully make the step up in recent years. Before the end of the last campaign the Special One promised to give some youngsters a chance, including Loftus-Cheek - but warned of the dangers of promoting too many too soon.
'Next season, Ruben will not be a kid in the development process,' he said in April. '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.
'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.
'I cannot have a squad of 10 men and 10 kids. I must have a squad like we have now of 16 or 17 seniors and three or four kids.'
Jose Mourinho is loved by the majority of his players - but those who fall foul of him soon know about it. He demands a lot of his players and if, in the case of Loftus-Cheek, they fall short of those standards they will soon know about it.
Loftus-Cheek is highly rated at Chelsea by those in the know but as the old saying goes, you can have all the talent in the world but it means nothing without the right attitude. Only time will tell if Loftus-Cheek has just that.
Does Loftus-Cheek have what it takes to make it to the top?
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