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Putting another nail into the coffin of the narrative that Mourinho is youth-unfriendly

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

As we saw in Part 5839 of our series of "Jose Mourinho hates kids," Chelsea's new-old manager actually had set a rather progressive youth policy while at Inter, designed to methodically integrate into the first team at least four of the best young players in the system. It's easy then to envision how a prospect like Raphael Varane reaped the benefits of a similar policy when Jose was calling the shots at Real Madrid.

But now he's back at Chelsea, and the narrative at Chelsea - shaped to a large degree by Mourinho's first tenure - is that the club buys established, primed talent rather than developing rawer, younger players. And while players like Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, and Oscar were quite young at the time of purchase, they were also all very much ready to tackle the hardships of the Premier League.

So what can we expect from Jose's second tenure? Speaking to journalists after his televised press conference, would he reveal his plan to fill the squad with the decade-later equivalents of Didier Drogba, Ricardo Carvalho, Tiago, and Paulo Ferreira?

"Imagine if you bring back Lukaku, De Bruyne and perhaps Kalas."

"Bring three guys back, that's zero (spent) because the investment was made before."

Wait, what? And who told him about Tomas Kalas? How does he know about a virtual unknown?

"We want to go in this direction. The one or two we may buy are complements because the structure and philosophy is this."

"I'm more than happy to do that and to help these young guys grow up. Not build the team, because the team has a structure to it, but I want to help the team improve."

I think we can agree that this is the right direction for Chelsea. Granted, the two Belgians did not come for a handshake and a smile, but just a relatively high transfer fee is no guarantee of future success. Mourinho has making all the right noises about wanting to develop them and that makes me very happy.

"I haven't changed my nature and I won't accept development without trying to win - ever."

"It's more difficult to keep trying to win and trying to be successful while at the same time developing young players and giving an identity to the team - but it's something I want at this stage of my career."

"Titles I have, money I have, I need challenges. Nothing motivates me more than challenges. It's about changing the club, I think, and the club thinks so too."

Can we start the season already?

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