Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel drops Crystal Palace selection hint after Super Cup triumph
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Thomas Tuchel has suggested that Trevoh Chalobah could work his way into Chelsea’s first-team picture this season ahead of their Premier League opener against Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon. The 22-year-old was selected to start the Super Cup clash with Villarreal on Wednesday evening and played the entire 120 minutes as the Blues clinched the trophy via a penalty shoot-out.
Chalobah spent the entirety of last season on loan with Lorient, making 30 appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit in all competitions.
He impressed during his time in France and was duly rewarded with a competitive debut for Chelsea on Wednesday in Belfast.
Tuchel opted to deploy Chalobah on the right side of a back three, with the young defender barely putting a foot wrong over the course of the match.
He caught the eye with his composed range of passing and electric turn of pace, while his astute defensive capabilities helped to keep Villarreal at bay for the vast majority of proceedings.
The Chelsea boss went on to admit that Chalobah could be poised for a senior role this season, declaring that he is more than ready to play Premier League football.
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“Absolutely, that’s why he played,” said Tuchel when quizzed on whether Chalobah might feature for Chelsea on a regular basis in the near future.
“He played good against Arsenal and he played a good game also against Bournemouth, then Arsenal, then Tottenham.
“We wanted to have guys on the field who are capable to play 90 minutes.
“Trevoh was first in training, the very first in training and is physically strong and deserved to play by his performances so far and again today he was very strong.
“He suffered in some moments but later with Azpi [Cesar Azpilicueta] by his side and Jorgi [Jorginho] close to him and helping him in tactical organisation he stepped again up.
“He never lost face and stayed calm and was physical enough to play 120 minutes. It was quite impressive. He forced his way into our thinking.
“Let’s see how it goes. We still have some days to decide his personal future but in the moment he shows his value to the team.”
Chalobah has been linked with a season-long loan move to Valencia in recent weeks, with the Spanish heavyweights reportedly keen to take him on board.
However, Tuchel’s comments suggest that he could be set to break through at Stamford Bridge and establish himself as a first-teamer for the Blues over the coming months.
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It remains to be seen whether Chalobah will make his Premier League debut in Chelsea’s back three against Palace on Saturday.
The Blues boss previously hailed the defender’s performances during pre-season but stressed that the former Huddersfield and Ipswich loanee will face stiff competition for a starting berth over the course of the new campaign.
“We know him from Lorient and Chalo has done very well in pre-season,” said Tuchel after the 2-2 draw with Spurs earlier this month.
“We wanted to continue in the back three, so there was space in the back until Zouma and Toni arrived.
“Then there was one space left but then Andreas Christensen, Reece and Azpi are back then there is a huge competition for him.
“He’s done very well in both games and within his potential and limits, that was nice to see. He played a good match, I agree.”
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