In part one of his interview with the official Chelsea website midway through the first week of pre-season training, Jose Mourinho discussed the encouragement all Under-21 and youth squad players should take from the batch of youngsters currently training with the first team group. Today (Thursday) he speaks further about those players working with him, and about the summer tour to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia which begins today.
Among the many established stars that will be in the touring party to be announced later today, there are likely to be some junior players included, following this week’s work at Cobham.
‘We have been training with six of them,’ Mourinho reports.
‘They are players that are not going to belong officially to the first team, but we are looking for their development and all of us together are going to make decisions for their benefit.
‘The best thing may be to stay in the club, in the Under-21s because the Under-21 squad have a lot of matches that they didn’t have before. They play their championship, they play a European competition, they have a lot more motivation even if they are at a level where they could play in the top divisions in some countries.
‘So the motivation is higher and the conditions for their development is higher if they stay, but some of them have already a loan and we are making the right decisions where are the best loans, which manager and which leagues can help them to develop – where they are going to play more times, where it will be easiest to transfer what they learn now when they come back.
‘So we want to invest in them and it is very good for some of them that they are with us now training and coming to Asia, and I am sure they will play some minutes.’
Mourinho has been pleased with the contribution made by senior players in supporting the young ones in training.
‘It is fundamental to pass on some values to the kids,’ he says.
His previous summer tours with Chelsea were all visits to the United States but he has played pre-season matches in Asia with Inter Milan and Real Madrid, and sees them as contrasting but worthwhile destinations.
‘We go happy because you go for the passion.They are crazy about football,’ he says of travelling to Asia.
‘When people are not crazy about football you are going to give a contribution to try to change things, as we did in America seven to 10 years ago. In this moment, every pre-season, Chelsea, Madrid, Inter, Milan, Juventus or Man United, or sometimes all of them together go there. I feel the summer period in the States because I went every year for 10 years and the passion is changing.
‘If you go to Asia where the people are already crazy about football and it is amazing, I think you have to go to feed that passion.
‘You go there very happy because you are playing friendly matches with 60,000 to 70,000 fans and the people are in the street chasing you and they are surrounding the hotel waiting for a picture or autograph, so I think every big team should go.
‘I was talking to the players this week and because of the passion, we go there with a smile.’