Chelsea: Effects of Mourinho not allowing players to develop being felt


Jose Mourinho’s impatience is coming back to haunt Chelsea. What he thought would help Chelsea is now hurting their success.

Former Blues manager Jose Mourinho had quite an eventful second spell at Stamford Bridge. The transfers Mourinho made at the time were for the short-term betterment of the players and the club. Now, looking back, some of the transfers he made are now viewed as detrimental towards the club’s success as these players have thrived elsewhere.

Juan Mata

Juan Mata spent nearly four years with the Blues and was very all-around in terms of production. He made 135 appearances, netted 32 goals and added 58 assists. Mata was a key player when Chelsea won the Champions League, FA Cup and Europa League. Mourinho did not understand the value and expertise Mata brought to the squad.

So, in the winter transfer window of 2014, Mata was sold to Manchester United for a transfer fee of £37.1 million. Although Mata wanted to leave for Manchester United, Mourinho should have realized his value before selling him.

Mata could have been a mentor to players like Willian, Eden Hazard and Mohamed Salah. If the west Londoners decided to keep Mata, Salah would have likely progressed at a quicker pace. Ultimately, Salah would have gotten more minutes and would not have been transferred to Roma.

Mohamed Salah

Salah transferred in from FC Basel in the winter transfer window of 2014. Salah made 19 total appearances for the Blues in all competitions. Salah spent nearly three years at the Bridge, with most of it spent on loan. Mourinho gave Salah very few opportunities to show his skill. With him mostly being out on loan to Serie A, his skillset attracted interest from Roma. So, in the summer of 2016, Salah was sold on permanent transfer to Roma. This was a poor judgment from Chelsea as his market value was steadily increasing.

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With Salah’s value increasing, so was his skill. The Blues were quick to sell as they did not think about Salah’s possible future with the club. Though the transfer did not happen in the Mourinho era, it happened due to his actions. This transfer was also regarded as one of Chelsea’s worst transfer deals. The rest is history as Salah transferred to Liverpool in 2017 to become one of the world’s best wingers.

Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne arrived at Chelsea in 2012 from KRC Genk. De Bruyne was never really given a chance to show what he could do at Stamford Bridge, however. He was sent out on loan spells year-after-year. By the time De Bruyne was sold VFL Wolfsburg, he had only made nine total appearances for the Blues in three years.

De Bruyne was offloaded in the winter transfer window of 2014. The selling of De Bruyne was one of Chelsea’s worst ever. He later moved on from Wolfsburg and transferred to Manchester City. During his time in the north, he has become arguably the best chance creating midfielder in the world, an area the Blues have struggled to fill in recent years.

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku transferred in from Anderlecht in the summer of 2011 for a price of £17 million. Lukaku—like others—also spent time out on loan nearly every year. In his Blues career, Lukaku made a total of 15 appearances for the first team. He was a player Mourinho could have used and a player the club could’ve used in years past.

In the end, Mourinho decided to sell Lukaku to Everton in the summer of 2014. This transfer is also regarded as a terrible one by the likes of football fans everywhere outside of Everton. On Merseyside, Lukaku began to show what he can do with the ball at his feet.

Despite selling the striker in 2014, Mourinho—then manager at Manchester United—convinced the Belgian to join his side again. He played for United from 2017 to 2019 before being sold to Inter Milan. He has had a great season so far. Meanwhile, Chelsea is still searching for a striker.

Looking back, Mourinho disregarded players who then went on to become superstars. To think Belgium’s top three players were once on the same team and they were all transferred out, is something that makes Blues fans across the globe nauseous. At the time, Mourinho believed he was making the right moves and he doesn’t deserve full blame.

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However, if Mourinho decided to give all of these players some more playing time, there is a good chance Chelsea would be dominating the Premier League right now.

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