Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has often received criticism in the past for his presumed lack of interest when coming to the development of youth players.
During his war of words in the media with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger throughout last season's Premier League campaign, it was a stick many pundits decided to beat him with.
If that wasn’t enough, following striker Romelu Lukaku’s recent transfer to Everton, the Belgian international striker told the press how Goodison Park is the perfect environment for a young player to develop and grow – hinting that perhaps under Mourinho’s wing this wasn’t the case.
The Blues boss, however, does have a player willing to back his corner, and that comes from the unlikely source of a former Real Madrid youth-team star.
Pedro Mosquera – now at Elche – was a regular in Madrid’s B team while Mourinho was in the midst of taking on Barcelona with his newly-formed Galactico side.
Despite the self-proclaimed Special One’s controversial stint in the Spanish capital, Mosquera looks on fondly at his time under his former boss and told Spanish newspaper AS how much time Mourinho would spend observing the academy.
“Yes, I debuted with Pellegrini, to whom I am grateful," he said. 'Then I was with Mourinho who was one of those who most observed the academy. Jose Mourinho is a person close to all the players. I was surprised by what he has won. Regardless of the character that is transmitted through the press, he is very good coach and he is better than he appears in the media.”
Mourinho has a number of young players who will be looking to break into the Chelsea first team this season. Defenders Kurt Zouma and Nathan Ake are among the most highly rated; exciting midfielder Marco van Ginkel will also be hopeful of making an impact.
Is Jose Mourinho good for the development of youth players?