Angel Gomes made his debut under Mourinho

Where are they now? The 16 teenagers handed Premier League debuts by Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has handed 16 teenagers their Premier League debuts during his stints with Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham.

While the Portuguese boss has sometimes been scrutinised for not giving youngsters enough of a chance, he has dished out plenty of debuts over the years.

We’ve taken a closer look at the 16 teenagers who were handed Premier League debuts by Mourinho and have checked out what they are up to these days.

Angel Gomes

The former United youth prospect is the youngest-ever player to be handed a Premier League debut by Mourinho. Gomes got his first chance against Crystal Palace back in 2017 as a fresh-faced 16-year-old.

Sensing regular first team football would be hard to come by at Old Trafford, Gomes left the club in 2020 and forged a career in France instead.

The 23-year-old has been a regular for Lille since the 2021-22 campaign and seems to be enjoying life in France right now.

Dane Scarlett

Mourinho only dished out two league debuts to teenagers during his spell with Tottenham and Scarlett was lucky enough to get his chance back in February 2021.

The 19-year-old is still on the books at Spurs today and he’s since made 12 senior appearances. He spent the first half of this season on loan with Ipswich Town, although was recently recalled due to a lack of game time.

Troy Parrott

The other Spurs youngster who got his chance under Mourinho was Parrott. Since making his debut in 2019-20, Parrott has spent the last four seasons out on loan.

You can currently catch him playing for Eredivisie outfit Excelsior where he has scored five goals in 14 appearances.

Sam Hutchinson

During his first stint at Chelsea, Mourinho handed a teenage Hutchinson his first opportunity. He didn’t quite make the grade at Stamford Bridge in the end but he did enjoy a good career with Sheffield Wednesday.

Fast forward to 2024 and the 34-year-old now plays for Reading in League One after spending the majority of his career in the Championship.

Ben Sahar

Sahar got his first chance for Chelsea back in 2007 during a 4-0 drubbing of Wigan Athletic. The frontman has rarely stayed in one place for too long as he has played for 15 different clubs throughout his career.

Now 34 years old, Sahar currently plays for Maccabi Petah Tikva who compete in the second division of Israeli football.

Anthony Grant

Grant made his first and only Chelsea appearance under Mourinho back in May 2005. He’s since enjoyed a stellar career in the EFL where he’s predominantly played in League One and League Two.

The midfielder has racked up over 650 appearances throughout his career and now aged 36, plays for National League South outfit Welling United.

Scott Sinclair

Sinclair managed a total of 14 appearances for Chelsea in his younger years, but he enjoyed the best stints of his career with Swansea City and Celtic.

In his later years, the 34-year-old has dropped down the football ladder and now plays for League One club Bristol Rovers, where he first started his career.

Andreas Christensen

Mourinho handed the Danish defender his debut in 2015 and he went on to enjoy some solid years with the club where he managed to win five trophies.

He left Stamford Bridge in 2022 and was picked up by Barcelona on a free transfer. He’s done well since joining the Spanish club too, playing a key role in their title-winning campaign last time around.

John Swift

Swift was highly regarded during his years with the Chelsea academy, but he only managed to make one senior appearance which happened to come under Mourinho.

The 28-year-old has spent the vast majority of his career in the Championship playing for Reading and now West Brom. He’s enjoying an excellent season right now for the Baggies, having scored six goals from midfield.

John Obi Mikel

The Nigerian midfielder arrived at Chelsea during Mourinho’s third season with the club and despite his nerves to begin with, he quickly became a fan favourite.

“I came into the dressing room that day literally shaking,” Obi Mikel told Chelsea magazine when discussing his arrival at the club.

“I saw the players that were in there – the likes of John Terry, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Claude Makelele, Geremi, Michael Essien, Michael Ballack, Andriy Shevchenko – it was crazy. And I was just 19.”

The holding midfielder retired from professional football in 2021 and has since started his own podcast.

Jimmy Smith

Smith only managed one appearance under Mourinho and spent the majority of his career playing in the EFL before announcing his retirement in 2022.

“It was frustrating that I never really got the chance,” Smith told The Evening Standard when discussing his Chelsea days.

“I remember thinking I was involved, then I’d go on loan. I’d come back to a new manager and think I’d have another chance. I was always in and around the first team but things changed.”

Axel Tuanzebe

During his early days at United, Tuanzebe put in some terrific performances. He was handed his first chance under Mourinho, although the majority of his United appearances came under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Injuries have hindered his development over the years which can be emphasised by the fact he is yet to make 100 senior appearances despite being 26 years old.

These days he plays for Championship high-flyers Ipswich Town, although he has only managed five starts in the 2023-24 campaign.


The Brazilian winger was one of the last players signed by Mourinho at Chelsea before he lost his job in 2015. Kenedy spent the majority of his time at Stamford Bridge out on loan, as he managed just 30 appearances for Chelsea during his seven-year stay.

He finally left the club on a permanent basis in 2022 and now plays for Real Valladolid in La Liga.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

The Chelsea academy graduate made over 150 appearances for the club and was handed his first chance by Mourinho in January 2015 during a 1-1 draw with Manchester City.

These days he’s doing the business for AC Milan.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek of AC Milan, Esultanza, Joy After scoring goal, during Cagliari Calcio vs AC Milan, Italian soccer Serie A match in Cagliari, Italy, September 27 2023

READ: Look away, Chelsea fans: Loftus-Cheek’s first Serie A golazo screams Milan megastar

Diogo Dalot

Mourinho was a huge fan of Dalot when he brought him to Old Trafford in 2018 and he even compared the full-back to a young Gary Neville.

“Everybody knows that he has fantastic potential,” Mourinho said. “I don’t want to compare, especially not the number of titles but he is probably the same age as Gary Neville when he came into the first team.

“Probably he can follow Neville in this dynamic of more than 10 years as United’s right-back, with amazing conditions to improve, because as I was saying he’s 19 years old.”

Several years later, Dalot is still a United player although he has shared the right-back responsibility with Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Kurt Zouma

Back in October 2014, Zouma got his first crack at Premier League football under Mourinho. He managed to rack up over 150 appearances for the club and got his hands on five trophies along the way.

Since leaving the club, he’s done well for himself at West Ham and even managed to get his hands on some European silverware last year.

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