Jose Mourinho was asked about Papy Djilobodji and Jamal Blackman, two players yet to make their Chelsea debuts, in his press conference at Cobham today.
Djilobodji completed his move to Stamford Bridge on the final day of the transfer window, joining from Ligue 1 side Nantes. The Senegalese centre-back has been given the number 15 shirt and the media had their first chance to get Mourinho’s thoughts on the signing earlier this afternoon.
‘It was not my choice; it was the choice of somebody I trust completely, which is the same,’ the manager replied.
‘I don’t know every player. My job doesn’t allow me to travel, it doesn’t allow me to spend hours and hours watching players, and some moments of the market, under certain circumstances, are moments where you have to trust the people you work with or not.
‘In my case I trust them because the person who told me Djilobodji can be a good squad player for us was the same person who told me Zouma can be a fantastic player for us. Djilobodji is one of our four central defenders and hopefully he can be useful for us.’
The manager explained that Djilobodji has not been named in our Champions League squad because that would mean taking either Bertrand Traore or Kenedy out, two young players Mourinho thinks would benefit significantly from being involved in European football. He added it would be extremely unlucky if injures or suspensions meant we were short in the centre-back position at any point during the group stage.
An injury to Thibaut Courtois in training two days ago means 21-year-old Londoner Jamal Blackman will be elevated to the substitutes' bench for tomorrow’s game at Everton, with Asmir Begovic starting in goal.
Mourinho was asked if our regular third-choice keeper, who stands 6ft 6in tall, would be ready to play if called upon in the coming weeks.
‘The third goalkeeper is always a complicated situation because you can be a third goalkeeper and not sit on the bench once all season, or you can be a third goalkeeper and play a big match. In my first spell here, Hilario played against Barcelona in the Champions League and he was the third goalkeeper.
‘Our decision was that the third goalkeeper would be a young English goalkeeper, Jamal, behind two fantastic goalkeepers, and we think that’s a normal decision and a good decision.
‘He hasn’t played a single match in the Premier League or on loan with Middlesbrough in the Championship. He played a cup match against Liverpool and no more than that, so he doesn’t have experience of being in goal but he has potential.’