Beware Wenger: Mourinho plans to beat Arsenal with unknown teenager
Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger renew their rivalry yet again as Arsenal host Chelsea at the Emirates on Sunday’s blockbuster encounter at the Emirates. Chelsea though have several injury concerns and the Blues are without a single first team striker for the eagerly anticipated clash.
While Diego Costa having returned to training earlier this week, the Spaniard is yet to recover fully from his niggling hamstring trouble. Loic Remy too missed the 1-0 win over Manchester United last Sunday with a calf strain while Didier Drogba also picked up an injury against the Red Devils.
A quick look might suggest Mourinho could play January signing Juan Cuadrado as the farthest man forward with Cesc Fabregas in the withdrawing role as the false ten. However, as per reports from the official club website, should Mourinho opt to play a natural striker, 17-year-old Dominic Solanke could feature.
Mourinho says Dominic Solanke did not play for the Under-21s yesterday so he would be fresh if needed on Sunday. #CFC
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 24, 2015
The teenager is highly rated by the club’s youth academy. Solakne was on the bench for last weekend’s game against United and was also withdrawn U-21 side’s game against Everton on Thursday night.
The youngster has bagged 19 goals for the youth team this term and was also named England Men’s Youth Player of the Year for the 2014 calendar year. Mourinho also has plans to introduce the player to his breakthrough term next season. Solanke has also enjoyed a short training stint with England’s senior national team last month.
Solanke’s only senior appearance for Chelsea came during the Blues’ 6-0 thrashing of NK Maribor in the Champions League earlier this campaign. However, it will be interesting to see if Mourinho does throw the teenager directly from the start against the Gunners or goes for experience in the first place. Chelsea have all but wrapped the Premier League title this season but these are certainly interesting times for the club’s supporters who would love to see academy graduates coming through earlier than expected.
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