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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes summer signings Andre Schurrle and Marco van Ginkel are ready to make an instant impact when the Premier League season gets underway next month.
After Mourinho started his second spell as Blues boss with his first training sessions at the club’s Cobham HQ this week, he is now preparing to take charge of a Chelsea team once more on a pre-season tour of Asia.
While most observers suspect Mourinho’s squad is not complete as he eyes up a couple of major summer signings, he has spoken in glowing terms of the deals Chelsea have managed to complete this summer after seeing 22-year-old Schurrle and 20-year-old Van Ginkel in action over the last few days.
“Andre Schurrle is still so young but he already has great history because he plays in his national team, he has played Champions League and he played three complete seasons for Bayer Leverkusen,” Mourinho told the Chelsea website.
“He is a player who is absolutely ready and he gives us more than one position in attack and adds quality. He will be important for us.
“Marco van Ginkel is one of the best prospects. He is not yet like Schurrle – close to being a finished product – but he is a player with great potential.
“Of course he needs to play and he will, because he is a player with great potential and physically he is more than ready. He is a natural athlete. By the technical and the tactical point of view of course he is a kid, he has to learn, but I think he is very open-minded and we analysed him for quite a long time.
“The Chelsea scouting department did it for quite a long time and I did it in the last five or six months, and we made a collective decision to bring the kid here.”
Mourinho has been full of praise for the attitude of his squad as they have adapted to life under yet another Chelsea manager, and he has hinted youngsters Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Tomas Kalas will all have a role to play in his first team, after they enjoyed successful loan spells last season.
“They are good players with a very good value in the market and we have these players this season for free, after an investment that the club did before,” he added of the trio. “After the development of the players on loan it is the right moment for them to be back.
“They are very young with space to develop, they will be better year after year and I can imagine in five years they are much better than today, but what they have today is more than enough to belong to this squad.
“We have a team to develop, we have a team to work. Of course we know there are expectations already and we want to create expectations for ourselves, we don’t need other people to create them.
“So we are a very young squad. We have an average age of 26.3 and the reality is the best period of this team has yet to arrive. In five, six, seven years time, this team will be in the best moment of their careers.”