Throughout his incredible career there has always been one criticism constantly hurled at the tactical mastermind, the fact he never gives youth a chance. The majority of the criticism has come during his two spells in England with Chelsea. It is totally unfair to throw all of the criticism at Jose Mourinho for the youth record at Chelsea with next to none young players getting a chance under managers such as Andre Villas Boas, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Di Matteo. So why throw all the criticism at Mourinho ? Is it because it’s the only minor flaw anyone can find on his glittering CV? I think so. It has been exaggerated to a ridiculous level in recent months as the speculation has grown that Jose Mourinho will be the next Manchester United manger and Louis van Gaal has fallen on some real talent in Marcus Rashford and Tim Fosu-Mensah due to injuries and the poor performances of the big money first team players. This cannot count against Jose Mourinho.
At Manchester United the record of giving young players a chance is unbelievable and we’re rightly extremely proud of that record. It is an abnormal record if you compare it to other clubs around Europe in recent times. Most pundits and journalists miss the fact Jose Mourinho has a good record bringing at introducing young players into his teams. It is not as good as the record of Sir Alex Ferguson but it is a good record and certainly not as poor as a lot of people would have you believe.
At Inter Jose Mourinho is regarded as one of the best managers in the clubs glorious history. In the run to winning the Champions League with Inter Mourinho integrated two young Italian players into the first team setup, Mario Balotelli and Davide Santon. Both of whom Jose Mourinho placed a great deal of trust in and in the case of Mario Balotelli as he done throughout his career became impossible to manage forcing Mourinho to sell him. Both players won the treble under Jose Mourinho at Inter because Jose Mourinho decided to put his faith in two talented young players.
After his success at Inter Jose Mourinho became manager at Real Madrid. Real Madrid are of course famous for their galactico policy but it’s the purchase of the then teenage defender Raphale Varane from French side Lens in 2011 that shows Jose Mourinho has faith in young players and will give them a chance. Jose Mourinho championed Varane as the future of Real Madrid and famously fell out with Pepe at Real Madrid because Mourinho played Varane over Pepe during his final season at Real Madrid. Jose Mourinho also famously dropped club captain Iker Casillas in favor of young keeper Antonio Adan, giving him his debut. Several youth players who are currently at Real Madrid were also given they’re debuts by Mourinho including Jese, Cassemiro and Nacho Fernandez. Jose Mourinho was key in the early development of Alvaro Morata who is now at Juventus giving him his debut and integrating him effectively into the first team squad and playing a key role in his development to become one of the best strikers in Europe.
In his second spell with Chelsea Jose Mourinho was subject to a large amount of criticism for the perceived lack of young players getting a chance under him. During his second spell at Chelsea Jose Mourinho handed debuts to academy players Ruben Loftus Cheek, Domonic Solanke and Isaiah Brown. In addition to this Mourinho also purchased some of Europe’s brightest young talents in Marco van Ginkel and Kurt Zouma. The later was selected by Jose Mourinho in the Capital One Cup final and became one of the first names on the team sheet under Mourinho at Cheslea. Yes, his record at Chelsea for bringing through young players is not as good as it could be but it is not as bad as people are making out and it must be remembered that Chelsea are a club with no long term thinking so where was the chance for Mourinho to develop more young players?
At all of the clubs Jose Mourinho has managed there has been a short term vision with instant success the demand. Which means Jose Mourinho has never had any real time at a club to be able to bring a large number of young players into his teams. However from his time at all his clubs you can see that he does believe in giving youth a chance promoting from the academies and looking to bring the best young talents to his teams. At Manchester United the club is looking for the right man to give the time and money to. Jose Mourinho is that man. If he is given the money and patience that Louis van Gaal has received he will develop the clubs younger players and give them a chance in his team and he will improve them. Memphis Depay for example is a player who needs a new manager to guide him. He could flourish under Mourinho if he is willing to embrace Jose Mourinho’s philosophy. People need to accept no one will be like Sir Alex Ferguson he was an incredible manager we cannot find someone who will be exactly like him and no one will be able to develop as many young players as him but Jose Mourinho does give youth a chance and will give youth a chance. Manchester United cannot risk missing out on him because of exaggerations on his apparent lack of a youth policy.