Real Madrid youth-team star Jese says he is losing hope that Jose Mourinho will give him a chance with the senior side, and he could leave the club due to the lack of opportunities.
Jese, 19, scored the winner for Spain in last summer’s European Under-19 Championship and claimed the tournament’s golden boot. He has 13 goals in 16 games for Madrid’s Castilla B team in the Segunda Division this season, including six in his last five matches, but has not featured for the senior side.
He said in a cover interview in Wednesday’s Marca that he did not understand why Mourinho had not given him a chance with the first team. "In the first team there are good players, but at the moment us canteranos [youth-teamers] see it as very far away," Jese said. "Mourinho is putting more faith in players from the first team, which is normal, but I also believe that very good work is being done in the cantera.
"I do not understand the situation. All I can do is keep working, but I do not know. I believe I have done enough [to get a chance]. I am very humble, but if a chance does not come then you start to lose hope."
With Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain currently out of form, Mourinho gave a first La Liga start to Alvaro Morata, 20, and the youngster scored in Madrid’s 2-0 win Primera Division win over Rayo Vallecano last weekend. Nevertheless Jese, who turns 20 on February 26, said his feeling was that the Portuguese manager preferred to use tried and tested older players than to give youth a chance.
"Mourinho is a really demanding coach," he said. "I try to learn as much as I can from him. He, logically, speaks to a lot of the canteranos. But he is a professional coach and looks to other things. I believe he is a coach who surrounds himself with players who are already made."
The Canary Islander, who joined Madrid’s La Fabrica youth-set up aged 14, said that he may have to look elsewhere to progress his career.
"My contract is up in 2014," he said. "If it looks like I am not getting a chance here, then I will have to look at other things. The club have not made me a new offer. I suppose they are waiting. My agent is looking at other options and we will see. There is still a season to go."
Jese’s situation came up during the autumn public row between Mourinho and Castilla/B team coach Alberto Toril, with the Special One saying critically that the youngster was being used in a withdrawn striker position for the reserves which did not exist in the senior side.
But Jese is full of respect for Toril, who he is sure will one day have a chance to show what he can do with Madrid’s first team.
"Toril has been very important for me," he said. "He has taught me a lot, has given me a lot. I have a lot of confidence that someday he will be the first-team coach."
Jese also praised Madrid president Florentino Perez for always having time for the club’s youth team players, adding: "I have a very good relationship with the presi. He is a magnificent person, very nice with me, and the rest of the canteranos. I appreciate that. I am sure he has confidence in me."