Jose Mourinho has worked miracles at many clubs based in multiple countries, winning almost every trophy a manager could hope for.
However, it has been a constant criticism against him that he does not involve youth players into his game plan and relies on senior players more than often.
Although senior players offer more security and responsibility on the pitch, not integrating youngsters severely stagnates a club’s academy. Many clubs are proud and boast a star studded academy and expect their graduates to be given chances.
Even at Porto, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Chelsea or Manchester United, Mourinho’s reliance on youth players were minimal at best. Which is why many clubs with great youth heritage try to stray away from appointing managers such as the Portuguese.
Nevetheless, the former Real boss disagrees with this narrative. Ahead of Tottenham Hotspur’s Champions League clash against Bayern Munich this week, the veteran manager was asked [via Goal]:
“There has been some criticism of your handling of young players and academies in the past, maybe at Chelsea and United. Do you think that’s been fair criticism? And are you determined to prove at Tottenham that it was unfair?”
“Yes, it’s very important, Scott McTominay is only the best player at Manchester United,” Jose replied.
“Raphael Varane is one of the best players in the world, yes, it’s fair criticism.”
The 56-year-old responded with cheeky sarcasm to the criticism but it has been widely speculated that the inclusion on McTominay was somewhat the result of Sir Alex Ferguson’s influence.
And Varane on the other hand, had already gained popularity in France before his move to the Bernabeu. Besides, the Frenchman was never the direct product of the Los Blancos’ academy.
It is an undeniable fact that the ex-Chelsea manager gives chances to young players, but he has not integrated them consistently enough to be replying to the topic sarcastically.
But with the abundance of talent at Spurs, that narrative might change for real.