Jose Mourinho believes returning loanees Kurt Zouma and Tammy Abraham could be ‘the answers’ to Chelsea’s transfer-ban.
Frank Lampard’s side are currently serving a two-window transfer-ban for breaching rules regarding the signing of foreign U18 players, with the new Chelsea boss having to look from within as he bids to strengthen his squad this summer.
Gary Cahill’s departure means the club have lost an experienced option at centre-back, however former Chelsea boss Mourinho believes returning loanee Zouma is the ideal replacement following his successful spell with Everton.
“It depends on what you have in the academy, that’s the point. I think every manager in the world loves to play kids from the academy,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.
“The question is: what is the product from the academy? What can you work with to improve? I think Chelsea is a very special club in relation to that. I just give an example: Chelsea needs 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 Premier League, played for Everton in the Premier League, 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.”
Gonzalo Higuain’s return to Juventus means Chelsea will also have to look to their academy and loan stars for a replacement forward, though Mourinho also feels the club are now benefitting from their policy of acquiring young talent and developing them on loan.
Two-cap England international Tammy Abraham has returned to Stamford Bridge following a prolific loan spell at Aston Villa, and Mourinho believes the 21-year-old is ready to establish himself in the first-team this season.
“You want a young striker – Tammy Abraham! He’s yours. He knows the club. He was made at the club, he was educated at the club. He was on loan, he played already some matches in the Premier League, he plays in the Championship but Championship at the highest level with the responsibility to play at a big club like Aston Villa. He’s ready.
“Do you need to buy a young centre forward? No! And Chelsea were criticised many times with the number of players they had on loan, more than 30 players, 40 players, but now the moment arrived and they have answers like nobody else could have.
“They have the answers, so I don’t think it’s any problem for them. The only problem for them is obvious which is that they lost a phenomenal player. Eden [Hazard] was a special player for Chelsea and they lost him, apart from that I don’t see any problem for them.”