Mourinho: ‘Huijsen is one of the highest quality prospects in European football at his age level’


Roma coach Jose Mourinho is very happy with the arrival of Dean Huijsen ahead of their match with Atalanta tomorrow. The Giallorossi confirmed the loan signing of the Juventus defender earlier today, and the Special One took time out in his pre-match presser to share his thoughts on the Dutchman’s arrival:

“It will be a tough game, the level is high. Atalanta have everything: quality, experience, options, many years with the same coach. This means following and maturing a philosophy. Two years ago we won, last year we lost with a great game played. With them it will always be complicated. But we are tough, we are not easy for anyone and we always find strength in our difficulties.

“Huijsen? He’s an 18-year-old kid who has ten minutes in Serie A. He is a prospect with the most quality in European football at this age. He will be a great footballer in the future. He’s available to play, but he arrived at the hotel last night, trained with the team for an hour today and had a meeting with me to understand the dynamics. Tomorrow if he has to play, he’ll play. There are no updates on Smalling, I don’t think he will train with me in January.”

“Pinto? A coach cannot make a remark about a manager. I am always very respectful of hierarchies. I am no one to comment on the work of a superior. However, I hope he can find the best in his future. It was his decision and it must be respected. I will always be rooting for everything to go well. But to evaluate his work is not correct’.

“‘I was once talking to one of the greatest tennis players in history. He told me that there are few matches during the season where he plays at 100 per cent from a physical point of view. Yesterday I was talking to another tennis player and he told me that tiredness is only mental, not physical. In my opinion it is also physical. If you tell a midfielder that he has to play several close matches, it creates a build-up.

“The African Cup of Nations complicated our lives a bit, as did Smalling’s personal injury, which from a personal point of view ruins the season for me. Renato Sanches has also never been available. It’s a difficult situation, if Lookman goes to the African Cup of Nations, Atalanta has Muriel, Scamacca, De Ketelaere. But we are not easy for anyone to play against.”


Serie A obsessive.