Favorites Edit

All 49 academy graduates promoted by Jose Mourinho

4.90K   //    05 Jul 2016, 22:47 IST
Jose Mourinho Man Utd
Jose Mourinho and his youth policy are oxymorons

Jose Mourinho has come prepared for his role as United (to be fair he had enough time to do so), and has quickly slotted into the hot seat at Old Trafford. He has soon notched up three summer transfers in Bailly, Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan in quick time, and United look set for the coming season.

Also Read: Jose Mourinho's first press conference as Manchester United manager 

On his first press conference as the Manchester United manager, there were the expected questions about his record of promoting youth players, and Mourinho was prepared with a sheet of all the players he had given debuts to from various academies.

Also Read: 5 takeaways from Jose Mourinho's first press conference as Manchester United manager

"I have promoted 49 youth players from Academies. If you want, I can give you that list. Two factors that are very important on these records, because sometimes you promote because you don’t have another chance or so many injuries, you have to bring them in. 

"The second factor is when you are not playing for big targets then it is easier to bring them up. My record of injuries is very, very low. I never promote players because of a need – I do it because of conviction."

He went on to add "Last year was the only season of my career when I was not fighting for the title winning or finishing second or third once so it was never a situation of stability and no pressure to promote players. I did 49. "

"Some of them are big names, they are today Champions League winners, in the Euros, playing for national teams and 49 is a lot. So one lie repeated many times sometimes it looks true but it will never be true. 49. "


Forty Nine players you say? Okay, so let's have a look


Ricardo Costa-  Definitely the most successful player promoted by Mourinho (at Porto), a central defender (and a full-back) by trade has played for the like of Porto, Wolfsberg, Valencia and currently plays Granada.

Joca - Joca made two appearances as a Porto player as a defensive midfielder, it's safe to say he didn't have stellar career in the top tier of the Portuguese League, he is the current manager of S.C. Espinho.

Hugo Luz- A Portuguese U-21 international and a left back by trade, he has had a decent career at the Portuguese second division.


Anthony Grant- An England U-19 international and a midfielder by trade, has had a decent career in the lower leagues of English football.

Steven Watt- A defender by trade and another one who has spent most of his career in the lower leagues, and currently is the player/assistant manager of Hastings United.

Jimmy Smith- An England U-19 international and has also played for the likes of QPR, Norwich and Sheffield Wednesday.

Michael Woods- After just an apparency for Chelsea, he dropped down the league and the 26-year-old plays for Hartlepool United.

Ben Sahar - After playing three games for Chelsea, he went to QPR and since travelled considerably and now plays for Hapoel Be'er Sheva in Israel.

Sam Hutchinson- The England U-19 international played five games for the London and has since then dropped down the leagues and now plays for Sheffield Wednesday.

Lenny Pidgeley- Another England U-20 international, a goalkeeper, this time, had two appearances for Chelsea and has dropped down the leagues since then, and now plays for Forst Green Rovers.

Inter Milan

Davide Santon- Probably the most well known from academy graduates from Mourinho's stint at Inter, the right footed left back has eight caps for Italy, and has also played for Newcastle, is back at Inter now.

Rene Krhin- A Slovenia international with 24 caps for his national team. He had only five appearances for Inter, but moved to Bologna and made 59 appearances and currently plays for Granada.

Giulio Donati- The Italy U21 International has played for the likes of Bayer Leverkusen and currently plays for Mainz.

Alen Stevanovic- The Serbian had only one appearance for Inter, but has gone on to play for the likes of Palermo and currently plays for Serbian Club Partizan Belgrade. He has also three caps for Serbia.

Francesco Bolzoni- The Italy U-21 international has mostly plied his trade in Serie-B, and has recently signed for Novara.

Real Madrid

Antonio Adan- He didn't get much of a look-in as a keeper in the Real Squad, with the likes of Navas and Casillas, he currently plays for Real Betis.

Alex Fernandez- After his one appearance in the Real Madrid team, he moved to Espanyol, and he is currently on loan to Reading.

Jese- Probably the most talented of lot Mourinho promoted, he hasn't kicked on despite his obvious talent. Probably doesn't help that he has Bale and Ronaldo as competition.

Jose Rodriguez- After his one appearance for Real, the manager's namesake has played for Galatasaray and has now signed for Mainz.
Juan Carlos- A real good defender, he has played for the likes of Zaragosa, Betis, Granada and currently plays for Malaga.

Nacho- The backup to the likes of Pepe, Ramos and Varane at Real, he's 26, and has four appearances for Spain. How is the question!

Tomas Mejias- The goalkeeper had only one appearance for Real, and since has been loaned to Middlesbrough, and then also signed for them. Since 2014 he has 8 appearances, stellar.

Fabinho- The Brazilian international moved after the one appearance, and has been good for Monaco, he can play both midfield and as a right back and had been linked with a move to the Premier League.

Alvaro Morata- The Spain international was the highest scorer for Spain at the Euros, and was probably the player Jose was referring to when he said big names at the Euros.

Joselu- The striker has played for a few clubs, Hoffenheim, Hannover and Frankfurt and currently plays for Stoke.

Denis Cheryshev- The Russian, a very good player in his own right, but unfortunately forever will be remembered for getting Real suspended from the Copa del Rey.

Casemiro- A regular for the Real side and an integral part of the Brazil setup, his loan spell to Porto has really helped him grow as a player. 

Diego Llorente- The Spanish U-20 international has only two appearances for Real, but had a good season on loan to Deigo Llorente.

Omar Mascarell- The defensive midfielder has spent time on loan to Derby County and Sporting Gijon, and probably will sign for them.

Fernando Flores- The third goalkeeper that Jose gave a debut to during his time at Real (seriously), Flores has gone on to play for Alvares.

David Mateos- The central defender after his one Real Madrid appearance has moved on and now plies his trade in the MLS for Orlando City.

Pablo Sarabia- He moved soon after from Real after his appearance and played 131 games for Getafe and has been signed by Sevilla.


Lewis Baker- The highly rated FA Youth Cup player was definitely given his debut by Jose and then loaned out to Vitesse, and we will probably get to hear that a lot.

Dominic Solanke- See above

Ruben Loftus-Cheek- Touted as many to be a future Chelsea captain, and he is actually (truly) the first player to come properly through their academy.

John Swift- A box to box midfielder with an eye for goal, and will probably soon be loaned to Vitesse.

Andreas Christensen- Borussia Mönchengladbach would jump at the opportunity at signing him permanently given the season he had at Bundesliga, and with Ivanovic on the downward curve he should really be called back.

Bertrand Traore- The midfielder is another to have learnt his trade Vitesse and will probably leave the club soon, with an incredible amount of competition for his place.


As brilliantly put by Storey, the Chelsea manager may have technically promoted 49 academy graduates, but few were given the chance to really shine, most of them getting a maximum of one or two appearances for the club.

To be honest, there are only two in the (probably) world beater category, putting it to perspective against Sir Alex's or even LvG's record it looks bleak. As a United fan when you see Davide Santon as one the most well-known players promoted by your manager you should be scared.

As Aaron Levenstein said "Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital". That is the case for Mourinho, despite Chelsea winning the FA Youth Cup in each of the last seasons, it is baffling at how there are hardly any players who truly broke through under his reign. 

Even at Real, players like Morata and Casemiro didn't get much of a look-in, and there are always the De Bruynes and Lukakus of the world. But, I will give it to you Jose, we almost fell for it. 49. 

Topics you might be interested in:
Fetching more content...