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10 players who never got the chance to shine under Jose Mourinho

Mo Salah Chelsea
Salah was inexpleciably benched by Mourinho despite playing well at the start of his Chelsea career

Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is hailed - by many players - as the best coach they have ever worked with, but that by no means suggests that he has made a positive impact on all the players he has managed.The Portuguese tactician is responsible for taking many players to new heights under his reign, however, he is also guilty of ruining some careers over the years.‘Adapt or get out’ has always been the Mourinho way, and sadly, more than a few footballers have had to suffer the embarrassment of being disowned by the unforgiving manager. Some have gone on to shine at other clubs, while others never recovered.Here’s a list of ten players who never got to spread their wings under Jose Mourinho.

#1 Mohamed Salah

Mo Salah Chelsea
Salah was inexpleciably benched by Mourinho despite playing well at the start of his Chelsea career

The Blues beat Liverpool to the signing of Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah during the winter transfer window of 2014. Having caught the eye of Mourinho during the group stages of the UEFA Champions League, the player was snapped up after singlehandedly destroying Chelsea.

Salah did make a good start to life at Stamford Bridge, but found himself resigned to the bench soon after. He would be loaned out to Fiorentina after a very frustrating period, which seemed a good move as he really shone for the Italian outfit. However, he refused to remain there going into the new season, despite the club having the option to keep him permanently.

Salah is now enjoying another Italian loan spell at AS Roma. Whether or not he actually has a career at Chelsea remains to be seen.

#2 Juan Cuadrado

Cuadrado Chelsea
Despite paying £27 million for Cuadrado, Mourinho barely gave him any playing time

The Colombian winger came in as a replacement for Andre Schurrle at Chelsea in January of 2015. An absolute star for Fiorentina in Serie A, Cuadrado was expected to make an instant impact on Mourinho’s team.

The Blues needed someone to mirror Eden Hazard’s performances on the right wing and Cuadrado seemed just the man. Unfortunately however, he never lived up to the hype, as his manager showed little confidence in him. He was hardly afforded any time on the pitch, doing nothing of note when he actually played.

He has since been loaned out to Italian champions Juventus, where he is having a pretty decent season.

#3 Romelu Lukaku

Lukaku Mourinho
Mourinho let Lukaku go despite his obvious promise

The Belgian striker joined Chelsea as a highly rated 18-year-old in 2011. A Chelsea fan whose idol was Didier Drogba, Lukaku hoped to become a legend at the London club.

He spent his first season out on loan with West Brom, where he would outscore all of Chelsea’s players with 17 goals, inclusive of a hat-trick against Manchester United.

Mourinho arrived in 2013 and was immediately thrust into the UEFA Super Cup against Bayern Munich. The game would end with penalties and Lukaku would miss the deciding spot kick. He was sent out on loan yet again, this time to Everton, where he would have another impressive spell, scoring 15 goals.

The following campaign, it was expected that he would play a role at his parent club, but Mourinho had other ideas. The manager would go for Diego Costa and Loic Remy, also bringing Drogba back to the club.

There was no room for Lukaku in this set up and he was eventually sold to Everton for a fee of £28 million. He has since developed into a real star at Goodison, having already scored 18 goals this season.

#4 Kevin de Bruyne

KDB Chelsea
De Bruyne barely made the pitch for Chelsea, but is now one of the best midfielders in the world

A fantastic player by any measure, Kevin de Bruyne signed for Chelsea in January of 2012 from Belgian club Genk. He would finish the season with Genk and was loaned out to Werder Bremen the following term.

He returned to Chelsea after a successful loan spell in Germany and was assured that he would be a part of Mourinho’s plans, which seemed very likely, as he started the first game of the season for the Blues, also making a wonderful assist.

Things would go downhill from there and the Belgian would find himself on the fringes, almost completely overlooked by Mourinho.

De Bruyne was later allowed to leave for Wolfsburg, where he had a remarkable season. So much so, Manchester City would bring him back to the Premier League for a club record £55 million fee.

He is currently lighting it up at City, having already scored 5 goals along with eight assists this season.

#5 Nuri Sahin

Sahin Real Madrid
Sahin barely made a start for Los Blancos

Mourinho signed the Turkish international for Real Madrid from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2011. A star back at his old club, Nuri Sahin was touted to become the next big thing at the Bernabeu.

Strangely enough, though, Mourinho never gave him a real shot. The Portuguese saw him as an alternative to Xabi Alonso in midfield, but would not play them together as he believed that his defense would be weakened. One of them would have to be benched and it surely wasn’t going to be Alonso.

Sahin would later be loaned to Liverpool, where he failed to impress. This paved the way back to Dortmund in another loan spell, but the German club would trigger a clause in the contract to make his return permanent.

#6 Lassana Diarra

Diarra Madrid
Diarra was a regular at Madrid before Mourinho’s arrival

The French defensive midfielder joined Real Madrid from Portsmouth in 2009. His performances would make him a favourite at the Bernabeu, but when Mourinho stepped in as manager a season later, the Frenchman fell down the pecking order.

Mourinho saw him as a useful player, but sadly, the arrival of German international Sami Khedira meant stiff competition for Diarra. He would never make it back into a real starting position at the club and he was eventually sold.

Diarra signed for Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala, later joining Lokomotiv Moscow. He now plays for French outfit Marseille.

#7 Juan Mata

Juan Mata Mourinho Chelsea
Mata wasn’t defensive enough for Mourinho

The Spaniard, thought to be one of the players to take Chelsea into a bright new future, was the club’s Player of the Year for two seasons running. He was a focal point in the attack and seemed indispensable; until Mourinho returned, that is.

Mourinho decided that Mata was not defensively minded enough for his system and kept him on the periphery, choosing to go with Oscar as his No.10 instead. Mata found himself constantly benched, much to his disgust, as well as that of the supporters.

He would later leave Chelsea for Manchester United, but still remains a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge. When Jose Mourinho took over at Manchester United this summer, many thought Juan Mata would be leaving the club soon but he’s stayed and proved Mourinho wrong!

#8 Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Loftus-Cheek Chelsea
Loftus-Cheek is highly rated, yet was barely given a chance by Mourinho

Fortunately, this player hasn’t gone anywhere as yet, but no one would blame him if he tried to.

The highly-rated Chelsea youngster is a quality midfield man, and despite being promised first team action by Mourinho, Loftus-Cheek was mostly left out of the team, barring a couple outings this season.

At the tender age of 19, he is already a fan favourite, and many supporters were disappointed that he wasn’t given many opportunities under Mourinho, especially as most of the star players have been bang out of form.

Loftus-Cheek may yet go on to be a regular in the Chelsea first team someday, but he must feel rather displeased with the way he was handled by Jose Mourinho

#9 Pedro Leon

Pedro Leon Madrid
Mourinho doubted the Getafe winger’s quality

Mourinho has no qualms when it comes to lashing out at his players in public, however, in the case of Pedro Leon, he spared no punches.

The winger signed for Madrid in 2010, but was hardly ever played by Mourinho. He would only play 132 minutes the entire season, leading to a very sour relationship between player and manager.

It was even reported that Mourinho told the player that he would still not play the following week if the team plane crashed while he wasn’t on board, and was the only available player.

"You talk of Pedro Leon as if he was Zidane or Maradona or Di Stefano," Mourinho once said when quizzed about Leon not making the team, "I don't have to justify his absence."

So much for building confidence.

#10 Kaka

Kaka Mourinho Madrid
Mourinho oversaw Kaka’s rapid plunge in stature

Kaka joined Real Madrid from AC Milan in 2009 for a whopping €65 million, which was the second highest transfer fee at the time, behind Zinedine Zidane’s €75 million.

The decorated Brazilian midfielder was considered a success that season, but things changed drastically when Jose Mourinho took over as manager in 2010.

Although an ankle injury, which kept him out for a lengthy spell, was also to blame, Mourinho never gave Kaka the time of day. The Ballon d’Or winner would lose his place as a regular in the side and never regained the form which made him the best player in the world at one point.

He would later return to Milan, but now plies his trade in the MLS as an Orlando City player.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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