Jose Mourinho has praised Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich for having the foresight to instil a policy of buying young players in an effort to comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, BBC
Mourinho added that in doing so, Abramovich thought further ahead than his rivals at other clubs, applauding the Russian for investing the future of the club and predicting Chelsea will reap the benefits this season and in the near future. “With the current Chelsea squad, [Abramovich] was thinking ahead of the others,” Mourinho said.
Chelsea have included Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Tomas Kalas as part of their pre-season preparations after the trio each impressed on loan last season – Lukaku in the Premier League at West Brom, De Bruyne with Werder Bremen in Germany and Kalas, a defender, with Vitesse Arnhem in the Eredivisie.
“When Chelsea were buying lots of young players, but the young players were not yet ready to come to play for Chelsea, I was in Italy. I was listening and reading some of the critics” Mourinho added. “You can see this season we have De Bruyne, Lukaku, Kalas. We’ve brought back three or four players with zero investment now because the investment was made before.
“If people want to follow financial fair play – and we will, I don’t know if others are keen to do it but we will – he was thinking ahead.”
BBC Sport puts the original cost of the three players at £20m and lists a number of other players Chelsea currently have out on loan, including goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who is beginning a third season with Atletico Madrid, and Oriel Romeu, who has joined Valencia.
Mourinho added that he believes Chelsea needs managerial stability – something he could not offer in his first spell, between 2004 and 2007, but is ready to give to the club. “When you see the profile of this squad, it needs a manager for a long time,” the former Real Madrid boss said.
“We have a median age of 26.3, including Mark Schwarzer at 40 years old and two or three players at 32, 33. So if we take out these players, we drop to a very, very young squad – and that young squad needs stability.
“In the beginning I was not ready,” Mourinho continued. “I wanted to make a different kind of history. I wanted to win here, to win there, to be champion in the most important countries,” the 50-year-old, a title winner in Italy with Inter, added.
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