• Premier League

Mourinho warns Chelsea stars to improve or leave

ESPN staff
May 4, 2014
Jose Mourinho believes several of his young stars are in an "age of improvement" © Getty Images

Jose Mourinho has issued a stark warning to Chelsea trio Oscar, Eden Hazard and Andre Schurrle to shape up or ship out, with one of the stars expected to leave the club this summer.

Mourinho recently hit back at Hazard after the Belgian criticised his manager's tactics following their Champions League exit to Atletico Madrid. The Portuguese was unhappy with his midfielder's commitment to his team.

Injured midfielder Oscar, who along with Hazard has attracted the interest of Paris Saint-Germain, also stated he had to protect himself for this summer's World Cup, while Mourinho went on to reiterate the Brazilian's recent claims.

"I think he was our best player for months, from August to November or December. He was absolutely fantastic. And after that he was up and down," Mourinho said.

"He arrived in the crucial moment of the season in a down. Injuries, couldn't train, was trying to arrive to the game but didn't, was a doubt for the game, the game was too big to play with a doubtful player, so he arrived in the crucial moment of the season in a low.

"I can imagine, in a couple of weeks, he will be in a high and during the World Cup he will be in a high. There are things you can't resolve."

The Chelsea camp appears to be in a state of unrest; David Luiz has already admitted their season should be deemed a failure unless the club recovers to win the Premier League title.

Mourinho is also thought to be considering a squad restructure in order to adhere to UEFA's Financial Fair Play (FFP) guidelines; should he choose to bolster his squad with the £50 million-rated Diego Costa, funds to strengthen elsewhere may be limited unless an existing player is sold.

As a result, Thibaut Courtois could be instated as the club's new No.1 goalkeeper, while Mourinho has also been impressed with Willian's continual progression. However, with several young stars in an "age of improvement", Mourinho insisted the likes of Oscar, Hazard and Schurrle must improve next season should they want to stay at Stamford Bridge.

"Willian has improved. But you can't succeed with everybody. At the end of the day, it's up to them," Mourinho said.

"You try to help, but it's up to them. Everyone who is in an age of improvement needs to improve. Everyone. Would you lose any of those if they don't have the ability to improve? I think they will stay.

"Schurrle had a good season? Not bad, but next season must be better. [Mohamed] Salah, Oscar, Willian, Hazard, all of them are in an age of improvement."

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