Jose Mourinho says Ruben Loftus-Cheek & youngsters must earn first-team spot

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Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has challenged youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek to try and fight his way into the first team this season.

The talented youngster has been tipped to feature in the first team this season, but his chances took a hit when Mourinho publicly criticised him for his performance during a post-season game against Sydney FC.

The Special One has been criticised for failing to develop any young players in his squad, with John Terry the only Chelsea youth product to regularly feature in the first team.

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With the new Premier League campaign just around the corner Mourinho is under pressure after some big spending from Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City - and it seems as though he won't be handing out starts to young players just for the sake of it.

Asked about Loftus-Cheek's chances this season, the Chelsea boss said: "[His prospects, his playing time] depends on him - not on me. People normally ask about chances and chances and chances and maybe that's a good excuse for the young players to be where they are."

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"I think maybe for the good of English football, you should go the other way. Are you ready to get the chance?"

"Because the other day I had this internal discussion. Must the manager give confidence to a player? Or must the player give confidence to a manager? And I had this nice internal discussion with my people. At the end of the day we arrive into a conclusion that players pick themselves. That's the responsibility that they must have."

New start

Chelsea kick off their campaign against Swansea this weekend, and go into the game on the back of a 1-0 defeat against Arsenal in the Community Shield. 


Mourinho has a poor record of developing young players - it is the one mark against him on his record. Look at a manager like Mauricio Pochettino who sees something in players before anyone else and then helps make them great. 

There wasn't a person who though Harry Kane, Jay Rodriguez or Ryan Mason were ready to be first-team Premier League starters but that's what they are. Mourinho must try harder.

Do you think Mourinho should give young players a better chance?

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