Jose Mourinho attracted censure for his decision to allow human tank Romelu Lukaku, 20, a one year loan move to Everton where he has since prospered in front of goal while Chelsea's strikers struggle. The Portuguese has also been criticised for the perpetual omission of Belgium winger Kevin de Bruyne, 22.
However, when it comes to nurturing young talent, Lukaku and de Bruyne and even all those who doubt two-time Champions League winning coach Mourinho, have been sent a message by Real Madrid's defensive phenom Raphael Varane, a Lille-born 20-year-old bought in 2011 who flourished under Mourinho's tutelage.
'He told me that I’d have my chance to play and that I was going to find out about myself and get to know myself better,' Varane is quoted to have said by FIFA.com.
'I’d never been under a lot of pressure before, either on the pitch or off it, and he said that I’d soon be given the opportunity to find out how I’d react to it. Mourinho kept his word. In the two years I played for him he always kept his word, and he also knew when to throw me in at the right time.'
A thrice-capped Frenchman who received his international debut this year and is a part of the current squad, Varane added: 'I’m only young and haven’t had many coaches, which means it’s difficult for me to make comparisons, but I’d say it’s his personality and charisma, which were felt by the whole team.
'He’s a winner, a competitor, and he transmits that to his players. Wherever he’s gone he’s always created combative teams with lots of character.'
While those are words that Chelsea youngsters de Bruyne and Lukaku will no doubt take solace from as they continue their development at Everton and the fringes of Chelsea's first-team respectively, what does it mean for Juan Mata, a thoroughly-impressive 25-year-old technician in the playmaking role who has struggled to suitably impress Jose?
Let us know in the comments below…
image: © katabasis