Jose Mourinho can feel smug about this one (Picture: Getty)
Arsenal fans would have you believe that Jose Mourinho never, ever uses young players; that he hates them, in fact. But stats from the Premier League this season will make embarrassing reading for them.
Many at Manchester United questioned if the Portuguese was the right choice for them last summer due to his mythical reluctance to field academy players, but he’s second only to Everton boss Ronald Koeman in terms of minutes handed to teenagers this season.
Marcus Rashford, 19, has obviously been a key part of that, with the young England striker establishing himself once again this year as one of the country’s most exciting up-and-coming talents.
Another 19-year-old, Axel Tuanzebe, has also had his first-team chances of late, surely putting to bed the idea that Mourinho is somehow biased against players if they’re not established big names.
Mourinho has shown faith in youngsters like Marcus Rashford (Picture: Getty)
Wenger, meanwhile, has handed just one minute of football to a player under the age of 20 all season long, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles making just one substitute appearance.
Back at Mourinho’s old stomping ground Stamford Bridge, Antonio Conte has been hailed for changing Chelsea’s ways by showing more faith in young players and loanees previously overlooked by Mourinho, but he’s given precisely 0 minutes to teenagers this season.
Minutes played by teenagers 2016/17
Of course, both sides have still used a few young players, with 22-year-old Hector Bellerin and 21-year-old Alex Iwobi both regulars for Arsenal, though Nathan Ake, 21, and Kurt Zouma, 22, have not had much joy getting into Conte’s starting XI.
Don’t listen to the haters, Jose!