Soccer

Thomas Tuchel offers reassurances to Ben Chilwell over battle with Marcos Alonso

Ben Chilwell has been asked to put his trust in new manager Thomas Tuchel and not sweat the lack of starts he has had since his arrival.

The England left-back was an automatic choice under Frank Lampard following his £45million move from Leicester in the summer but has found himself on the bench in three of Chelsea ’s five games under their new boss.

Tuchel said: “If he is anxious I can absolutely understand, because he got some difficult decisions, very tight decisions, against him.

“We took the choice for Marcos Alonso in a game where we played with five because he was more familiar with the position he played under Antonio Conte.

“We opted for Marcos against Burnley for his strength in the air.

“Then Marcos had a very good match and scored a decisive goal, and from there it was hard to come back.

“We played Tottenham and did not make changes on this position.

“I had a talk with Ben before that match and told him, ‘You have to trust me now. I see your potential, I see your talent’.

“I see with Chilly a very nice guy, a very reflective guy, an intelligent guy.

“I feel,” he added, rubbing his fingers together, “in the first days that it is possible he thinks a lot about this situation.

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“Hopefully not too much because he can have trust in himself first of all, and he can trust in us as a staff that we will keep on pushing him.

“We will find possibilities and we will look for possibilities to reward him.

“At the same time, we wanted to have a start where we are fair to everybody, to give everyone the feeling that this is a fresh start.

“Yes, if Marcos is the guy who took advantage of this situation, but this is not the end for Chilly’s development.”

Like Alonso, Callum Hudson-Odoi is also in favour and is someone Tuchel has liked for some time.

He said: “It was in my days at Paris. I would say two years ago his name popped up in our office, he was on our radar.

“We could see the potential. First of all I liked, even from outside, his way to express himself on the pitch.

“The personality he shows on the pitch. He’s a very positive guy, a guy who has always a smile on his face, which we like a lot.

“We could see his ability to speed up the game, to have high-intensity runs, repetitive runs at high intensity, high speed, good dribbling.

“Clearly the next step is to become a regular player, to be on a certain level all the time.”

Just as Tuchel is getting to know his players, so Chelsea fans are getting to know him and some might read the biography of him that is released in English in April.

But Tuchel added: “This gives me the opportunity to point out that none of the guys who wrote this book ever spoke to me.

“Nobody had the authority to write this book.

“I decided not to read it, because why should I read something people write about me that don’t even talk to me?”

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