Thomas Tuchel has reassured Chelsea fans and England manager Gareth Southgate to trust that prize left back Ben Chilwell is safe in his hands.
The £50m summer signing from Leicester has lost his first team place since Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard and would expect to feature when England next play three World Cup qualifiers at the end of March. First he has to get his club place back from forgotten man Marcos Alonso.
Tuchel has favoured the Spaniard as a wing back role in his new look Chelsea formation – despite starting the former Leicester Premier League winner Chilwell in his first match in charge. The tactically renowned German coach would not reveal his plans for Monday’s visit of Newcastle United.But he understands the 23-year-old’s anxiety after being axed for big matches such as the recent win at Tottenham and insisted his chance would come again.
‘I had a talk with him before the Tottenham match and told him you have to trust me now,’ Tuchel said. ‘I see your potential, I see your talent. I see with Chilly a very nice guy, a very reflective guy, intelligent guy.
‘I feel in the first days that it is possible he thinks a lot about this situation. 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. Sometimes it takes a little time and there are hard decisions in the moment.
‘At clubs like Chelsea, with a squad of 26 players and hopefully it stays that we do not have a lot of injuries, we have to deal with these kinds of situations. ‘Then it is my job not to lose these players and to help them that they do not lose trust. If he keeps on going he is a fantastic guy and he has a lot of potential.’
It could be an indication of the change that there is a big gushing interview with Alonso in tomorrow’s matchday programme, but Tuchel reassured Chilwell nothing is set in stone as he does not pick players on reputation or their transfer value.
He added: ‘We wanted to have a start where we are fair to everybody and we don’t judge anybody by the amount of money that the club has spent but to give everyone the feeling that this is a fresh start. Marcos is the guy who took advantage of this situation, but this is not the end for Chilly’s development – for sure not.’