Football

Jose Mourinho defends his youth policy at Chelsea

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Chelsea's fans have been patiently waiting for a youth player to break through their academy and become a first-team regular.

The last Blues star to do that was John Terry 15 years ago and midfield Ruben Loftus-Cheek is their latest hope.

Jose Mourinho has come in for criticism for a lack of faith in youth and reports have suggested Loftus-Cheek is getting impatient with his lack of chances at Stamford Bridge.

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However, speaking ahead of his side's trip to Tel-Aviv, the Special One came out in defence of his youth policy, saying young players have been given plenty of chances.

As per the Mirror, the Portuguese boss said: “I have quite impressive numbers for a club of our dimension. So we have in the first team squad, seven players under 21.

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“We have of these seven players in the Premier League, Champions League and Capital One Cup.

"We have 26 starts, 12 substitute appearances and we have 43 on the bench and not used. We have 26 starts with U21 players.

“I have quite impressive numbers for a club of our dimension. So we have in the first team squad, seven players under 21."

“Kurt Zouma starts 15 matches, Baba Rahman starts six matches, Ruben Loftus-Cheek starts three matches, Kenedy starts two matches. Zouma is used as a substitute three times, Baba one, Ruben one, Kenedy five and Bertrand Traore twice."

Mourinho also confirmed there was no chance Loftus-Cheek would be leaving the club on loan in the January transfer window.

YOUTH

While these statistics do show Mourinho is giving young players a chance, Kurt Zouma, Baba Rahman and Kenedy were signed for a combined total of £40 million, and none of them were developed by Chelsea's academy.

Considering the Stamford Bridge club's youth team has had some dominant seasons in recent history, the rate of progression to the first-team is minimal.

Of course, the step up from Under-21 football to the first-team is huge and loan spells for the likes of Lewis Baker, Patrick Bamford, Dominic Solanke and Izzy Brown will do them no harm.

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Topics:
Premier League
Jose Mourinho
Chelsea
Football

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