Jose Mourinho backs Chelsea’s youngsters to shine under Frank Lampard, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Jose Mourinho backs Chelsea’s youngsters to shine under Frank Lampard

Former Chelsea and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes the youngsters that Frank Lampard has at his disposal are good enough to make the step up.

The Blues are serving a two-window transfer ban, but the Portuguese insists that the likes of Kurt Zouma, 24, and Tammy Abraham, 21, can shine this season.

"It depends on what you have in the academy," Mourinho told Sky Sports.

"Every manager in the world loves to play kids from the academy. The question is: What is the product from the academy? What can you work with to improve?

"Chelsea are a very special club in relation to that. I just give an example: Chelsea need a centre-back - Kurt Zouma! You don't need to buy, you don't need to spend. Zouma!

"He's champion of England, he played for Chelsea, played for Stoke in the English Premier League, played for Everton in the EPL, played for France.

"He's your player, he's on loan, where are you going to buy a better player than him? You already have him."

Mourinho, who handed Zouma his debut in 2014, also singled out Abraham, who was on loan at Aston Villa last season.

"You want a young striker - Tammy Abraham! He's yours... He's ready. Do you need to buy a young centre forward? No!"

Mourinho added that Chelsea's policy of sending over 30 players on loan has been vindicated by having options available while they serve the transfer-window ban.

On the plum tie of the EPL's opening round between Chelsea and United on Aug 11, Mourinho believes it should be "treated like a cup final".

The 56-year-old, whose opening-game record reads 10 wins and five draws, said: "In my case, and this is maybe why I never lost a first match of the season, I have a huge record of victories and a couple of draws.

"I never think I go to the start of a marathon, I always think I go to the game!"