Jose Mourinho has been discussing his hopes and expectations for some of the younger players working under his guidance in pre-season.
The opportunity has arisen for a number of our Academy youngsters to take part in pre-season. This is because members of our first team squad were involved in the World Cup and their return has been staggered.
The majority of our summer recruits are established professionals from around the world. Mourinho believes it was not necessary to buy any English players because of the quality of the youngsters coming through at Chelsea.
‘My conscience tells me that if, for example, [Lewis] Baker, [Izzy] Brown, and [Dominic] Solanke are not national team players in a few years, I should blame myself,’ Mourinho admitted.
‘They are part of a process the club started without me. In this moment, we have players who will be Chelsea players. And when they become Chelsea players, they will become England players, almost for sure.
‘This group of players – Baker, Brown, Solanke and [Jeremie] Boga – these four are not all going to be in my squad, because I cannot have 30 in my squad, but these four are going to work with us all season and these four are going to be Chelsea players.
‘At 16 or 17 I don’t think it’s good for them to go somewhere else to play, like in the Championship. At 17 they have to train with us and they have to learn with us. They will learn a lot.
‘And they can play in the Under-21s and wait for the chance to play with us now and again, in a Capital One Cup match, or an FA Cup match. But they are 17, they are not 20. When they are playing in the Under-21s they are playing against 20-year-old guys. But if they are with us every day for them I think it is fantastic.’
As a number of our youngsters – including Brown and Boga - have told the official Chelsea website recently, they have already acquired a great deal of experience from their senior colleagues. The opportunity to keep doing so can only be even more beneficial.
For the 2014/15 season, Mourinho already has certain plans in place - but also has an important decision to make.
‘Officially, in the first team squad – not the Under-21s that will come to join us now and again – we have [Andreas] Christensen, [Nathan] Ake, and probably another one because I want to have one more English player,’ the manager said.
‘I need an English player in my squad and I have to make a decision about that, but we are going to have in the first team squad three players coming from the Academy. In this moment I start to have this feeling that our Academy is bringing players to our level.’