José Mourinho has criticised Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s work-rate following Chelsea’s 1-0 win in Sydney this week.
Loftus-Cheek, 19, was hauled off after playing just 28 minutes of the Blues’ final post-season friendly match at the ANZ Stadium.
After the game Mourinho publically reminded Loftus-Cheek and everyone else just what he expects from his players.
“I don’t accept that a player…when we don’t have the ball, doesn’t press, doesn’t have intensity and is waiting for other people to recover the ball. I don’t accept that of superstars, so why should I accept it in a 19-year-old kid? He has to learn what it takes to play for us.
“If he doesn’t know what it means to play for me and Chelsea, it’s one step back.”
Loftus-Cheek had made his senior debut earlier in the season, coming on as a late substitute in the 3-1 win over Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League and played an hour in the Premier League draw with Liverpool last month.
Mourinho had said earlier in the season that he expected the youngster to be competing for a first-team place in his squad next season and Loftus-Cheek was just one of the academy players on show in the post-season tour in Thailand and Australia.
Mitchell Beeney, Jeremie Boga, Charlie Colkett and Jordan Houghton were just some of the others to have made the touring party.
Chelsea won yesterday’s friendly match courtesy of Loïc Rémy’s stunning strike to ensure a second victory on their post-season tour having already beaten Thailand All Stars 1-0 in Bangkok on Saturday, 17-year-old Dom Solanke scoring his 42nd goal of the season.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s season hasn’t quite ended yet; he was included in Gareth Southgate’s England squad to play in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Czech Republic later this month.