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Mourinho: Ake, Christensen will make the first team

Scott Heavey

It sounds as though Jose Mourinho has made up his mind about which of the youngsters will be staying with the first team and which will be going out on loan. The lucky winners are Nathan Ake and Andreas Christensen.

We are going to have (Andreas) Christensen and (Nathan) Ake, who are 19-years-old and coming from the Academy. We are going to have training with us, but also playing for the Under-21 team, (Dominic) Solanke, (Jeremie) Boga and (Izzy) Brown. The other ones who are a bit older, 20 or 21, we feel they need to compete against men in a different league, people like Bamford, Swift, Chalobah. They are ready to go to other clubs and have a good loan.

What we are trying to do, and we believe we are going to be successful, is in a few years’ time, when they are between 20 and 23, we will have them back at the right moment and in the first-team squad.


With Ake and Christensen in the team, we should be set defensively -- Ake can cover at left back and defensive midfield, and Christensen should serve as the fifth-choice centre back immediately behind Kurt Zouma. More interesting, perhaps, is the fate of the other youngsters mentioned. Dom Solanke, Jeremie Boga and Izzy Brown will all get to train with the first team while playing with the reserves, and there are loans on the horizon for many others.

Patrick Bamford, unsurprisingly, will not be staying with the squad. Didier Drogba's arrival means we already have too many strikers as is, and a loan to a Premier League side makes sense. Chalobah, too, is probably ready for a loan spell in the top flight. As for Swift, your guess is as good as mine. He had a fabulous season last year, but he's probably not ready to play much beyond the championship.

The sharp-eyed among you will have noticed that Lewis Baker wasn't mentioned. I'd guess he ends up with the Boga-Brown-Solanke group, but it could be that Mourinho has special plans there. We'll see.

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