independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Mourinho happy with Blues squad

Jose Mourinho is pleased with the options at his disposal following Chelsea's summer recruitment

Jose Mourinho is satisfied Chelsea now have the right balance to make a sustained assault on the Barclays Premier League and Europe this season.

The Blues brought in Anzhi Makhachkala duo Willian and Samuel Eto'o as well as Marco van Ginkel and Andre Schurrle ahead of the transfer window deadline, but also allowed Romelu Lukaku to join Everton on loan.

Mourinho feels such strength in depth will serve Chelsea well when they look to continue their promising start to the new season after the international break.

Speaking to Chelsea TV, he said: "We have that (balance in the squad). We have two players per position, with three strikers and an extra midfield player.

"Every position is covered and we are very happy with what we have."

Mourinho did not sanction Demba Ba's proposed move to Arsenal following their club-record signing of Mesut Ozil, a player whose talents he knows well from Real Madrid.

However, in Brazilian Willian and veteran forward Eto'o, the Blues manager is confident the club have brought in significant reinforcements.

"Samuel is a very experienced striker as everybody knows and a winner," Mourinho said.

"He is a guy who in spite of winning everything, he never lost his desire to win.

"Samuel comes to England with the same objective with which I went to Spain - he wants to be the first one to win the Spanish, the Italian and the English league as a player. He always wanted to play in the Premier League so he comes with big motivation.

"He is different from (Fernando) Torres; Torres is different from (Demba) Ba and Ba is different from Eto'o, so we have in these three strikers experience and different qualities. Hopefully it goes well."

Willian could also have signed for Tottenham before Chelsea's late move.

Mourinho is in no doubt the player will bring something different to his line-up.

The Blues boss added: "Willian is a creative player and for his qualities, I think he needs a bit of time to express himself.

"He is very creative, fast and dynamic and can play in all three positions behind the striker.

"Again he is a kid that wanted very much to play for Chelsea and he was too many years in Ukraine and in Russia and now he has his first chance to be in a big championship."

Chelsea have just half-a-dozen English players in the 25-man squad lists for the Premier League and the Champions League which were confirmed on Thursday, with Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and John Terry no longer at the start of their careers.

Mourinho, who returned to the Stamford Bridge club this summer, sees no reason why Chelsea cannot continue to bring their own talent through the academy.

"I like that. Of course you can without English players, but I like to have at least a little core of English players," Mourinho said in an interview with the official Chelsea Magazine.

"If possible - and we have to work for it - I would like to have a little core of English players made in Chelsea Football Club, starting here since young boys. I think a club needs that culture as well.

"The other guys in the academy, I am starting to know them now. I watch them train; I trained with them and I watched them play.

"So I start knowing these guys and as I said before, it's not just important to have English players, but also to have players made in this club who learn what it means to be Chelsea.

"They are in our plans and the club is making an investment in them."

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