Jose Mourinho's vow over homegrown talent sounds hollow

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has consistently been at pains to insist over the last 12 months that his second spell as Blues boss has a long-term vision which will make room homegrown talent to shine, but I'll believe it when I see it.

Mourinho is working under very different conditions at Chelsea to the glorious, double Premier League-winning days of nearly a decade ago.

A combination of Premier League quota trained in this country and UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations mean Chelsea are attempting to successfully strike a difficult balance between success and long-term sustainability, one that may just actually force Mourinho to practice what he's preached.

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Three youngsters in his current plans

Mourinho has already claimed this summer that he has grand plans to change Chelsea's reputation for not giving youngsters a chance to shine, with academy trio Isaiah Brown, Dominic Solanke and Lewis Baker eyed as potential first-team regulars for both club and country.

Chelsea simply don't have the forgiving conditions in place to make that happen though, with the prospect of a quest to win every competition they enter being damaged by unproven youngsters simply unthinkable.

Roman Abramovich has already binned 10 managers for failing to meet his very high standards, who all knew the academy wasn't a priority and simply had to focus on putting the best team out possible to emerge victorious week-in, week-out.

If Chelsea and Mourinho actually want to change and give English youngsters a genuine path towards first-team progression that's admirable and long overdue, although it still looks wishful thinking at this stage.

FFP no problem at Chelsea for now

A quick glance through Chelsea's current star-studded squad is a huge indication that the focus remains on instant success, not Ake, Brown and Solanke.

Chelsea have 18 foreign stars and after allowing John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Ryan Bertrand to move on this summer must sell one of them to even meet Premier League requirements for the make-up of their 25-man squad.

Cesc Fabregas was added for £30m with the double boost of spending enough time at Arsenal to qualify as a 'homegrown' player, which despite his immense quality suggests Chelsea are still finding neat ways to meet Premier League requirements rather than committing wholeheartedly to harnessing English talent.

There's of course no reason Chelsea should care about the England side and I'm not suggesting they spend time in the trophy doldrums just to improve youngsters, a criticism you can definitely lay at Arsene Wenger's door, but the club definitely need to find a middle ground.

Chelsea deserve credit for the way they've dealt with the potential obstacle of Financial Fair Play by selling the likes of Juan Mata, David Luiz and Kevin De Bruyne for the best possible fee, but it's very difficult to take Mourinho seriously when he says the Blues will produce three England internationals over the next few years.

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