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We might as well shut academy if we don't produce talent says Jose

Jose Mourinho believes Chelsea must produce homegrown players, otherwise they may as well shut their £8million-a-year academy and spend the money on transfers.

Defender John Terry, the 34-year-old captain, was the last Chelsea-nurtured prospect to make a sustained impact.

With Terry, Eden Hazard and Willian rested for tonight's Champions League Group G clash with Sporting Lisbon, Mourinho has called up 18-year-old midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who has been with Chelsea since the age of eight.

In July, ahead of the second season of his second spell at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho insisted it would be his fault if academy prospects Lewis Baker, Izzy Brown and Dominic Solanke were not soon first-team stars. Loftus-Cheek is another hot prospect who has been fast-tracked to the first team for a match Chelsea do not need to win.

"You need to prove the academy works and is worth it," Mourinho said.

"If the kids are not good enough or the work is not good enough, it's better to close the door and use the money you spend on the academy to buy players."

Mourinho believes stability is imperative for the teenagers to realise their ambitions at Chelsea.

"It's only possible if the first-team manager stays for a long time, which in this club in the last 10 years, was not possible," added Mourinho, who is 18 months into a four-year contract.

"Imagine next week if there's a different first-team manager with different ideas. Some product, almost an end product, becomes an empty product and you have to start everything again.

"The relationship between the first-team and the academy is changing based on this stability that, at this moment, we are having.


"The people in the academy feel they are working for something, which is why tomorrow is not Ruben's day but 'academy day'.

"To be here since he was eight and to have the chance to play for Chelsea's first team is every kid's dream. English player, 18, completely made in Chelsea. If he does it, if he succeeds, it's good."

Mourinho spent enormous sums on transfers during a hugely successful first spell at the club from June 2004 to September 2007 when upcoming talent was in short supply.

"Every manager in the world wants to bring young people up," he said. "(But) it depends on the talent you have. Sometimes you have it. Sometimes you don't.

"I can, for example, compare my first spell here and now - and now the quality of the young players is better."

Chelsea lost for the first time in 24 games this season at Newcastle last Saturday.

Despite already advancing to the last 16 as group winners and affording key personnel rest, the Blues are determined to respond.

"The defeat to Newcastle doesn't have an effect on us," Mourinho said. "We have nothing to change but when you lose a game, the next game you want to win."

Goalkeeper Petr Cech could make a third start in the competition while striker Diego Costa will definitely start.


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