The season may be finishing tomorrow but Jose Mourinho’s work will not stop there. In the coming weeks our manager will discuss with the club his plans for the future, with particular focus centred on his squad for next season and beyond.
With loan spells finishing and possible transfers to consider, Mourinho explained how that process, which is already well underway, works.
‘I finish the season tomorrow,’ started the Portuguese. ‘I have been doing a report for a long time and it’s something I am going to give the club on Monday. After that the club will analyse it. Then we will meet, discuss it and find a direction to act in relation to every case.
‘I am not the club; I am the manager. I inform the club about my opinion not just with a simple comment made in the corridor. I like to do things in the proper way. I like to be committed with my opinions and I always do that by writing them down.’
Included among the players who will feature in Mourinho’s end-of-season report are two Belgians positioned at either end of the pitch.
‘Romelu Lukaku had what I call a successful loan,’ said the boss of the striker who has struck 14 Premier League goals for Everton this year.
‘Sometimes players go on loan and at the end of the season we cannot find one positive reason for that loan, but Lukaku played all the time – apart from when he was injured – so he has minutes of experience in the Premier League in a good team, with a good coach and scoring his goals.
‘You can say the same thing about Thibaut Courtois. A successful case of loans are the ones we have to analyse. My final report will have in detail these kinds of cases. That’s my job – to analyse things, have an opinion and make my decisions. I have to work with the club and respect the club’s decisions, but I know clearly what I would like for next season.’
Since returning to Stamford Bridge our manager has often spoken of building a team for the future which shares similar characteristics to the ones that have been fundamental to Chelsea’s core for the past decade.
One man who looks like he will form a key component of our side in years to come is Gary Cahill, a near ever-present at the heart of a defence that has by a considerable margin conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League.
‘Gary has had an absolutely fantastic season,’ Mourinho enthused. ‘Two-and-a-half seasons at Chelsea now and for sure this one was the most complete one.
‘I believe with no doubt he is first choice for the national team. The experience of a World Cup is part of a player’s career and a player’s evolution.
‘He’s really at the top of his game. After that is his personality: he’s a humble guy who wants to learn, accepts criticism and reacts positively to feedback. As a player and as a boy I like him very much.’
Another man who has impressed Mourinho with his development over the course of the season is Eden Hazard. The Belgian will, like his team-mate Cahill, hope to shine on the global stage this summer in Brazil to cap a campaign that on an individual level did not often waver from exceptional.
‘Eden has had a big evolution in his game and a big evolution in his personality. He had a high that lasted for a long time – many, many months. He couldn’t finish on a high because he was injured and in the most important moment of the season – for the second leg against Paris, for the first leg against Atletico – he was not there.
‘Against Atletico in the second leg he was there but not in top condition. He wasn’t there for the last few matches of the Premier League because of his injury, but he was clearly a player with a big evolution and hopefully he will be even better next season.’