As Antonio Rudiger’s final Chelsea request is approved, Ben Chilwell scares Thomas Tuchel
“We handed it to him because he deserved it and this is what you get if you deliver,” Thomas Tuchel said after the game. “We’ll miss him, as well as Andreas Christensen and perhaps a lot of other individuals.” If we want to remain competitive, we must begin rebuilding.”
A five-year chapter of Rudiger’s career has come to an end. A new one will be written, but he recognizes that the memories he made at Chelsea will remain with him forever. “It’s incredibly significant for me, my family, and my wife,” Rudiger remarked. “I understand your disappointment [with the choice to leave] and everything, but to still come out and offer me such a warm welcome….thank you so much, I truly appreciate it.”
A joyful – yet frightening – return
It’s difficult to say how Chelsea’s season would have unfolded if Ben Chilwell had been available throughout. The England international’s ACL injury against Juventus in November was a devastating setback for the Blues, who arguably did not recover in the Premier League.
Chilwell has been working hard in the gym at Cobham and on the training grounds at Chelsea’s training facility for months. However, there was little chance he’d be back in action before the season ended. Tuchel, though, opted to take a chance after the 25-year-old returned to first-team training at the start of the week.
Chilwell was included in the matchday squad to face Watford, and he was among the replacements. Tuchel chose to introduce Chilwell in favor of his good buddy and Chelsea Player of the Year Mason Mount in the 89th minute, despite the game being tied at 1-1.
“It was a little scary that maybe it was too much,” Tuchel said after the game to Chelsea’s in-house media. “He’s been in training, but not full-on full-on full-on full-on full-on full-on full-on full-on full-on full He had put in a lot of effort to get back, and I was glad he got some time.”
Chilwell, on the other hand, is still working hard. He’ll take some time off, but he’ll return a week early for pre-season training to guarantee that when the majority of the first-team group returns to Cobham on July 2, he’ll be ready to push himself and reclaim his place.
Chilwell remarked, “Psychologically, now I know [that I’ve returned].” “I came on in the penultimate game of the season after a week of training with the lads.” So now, in pre-season, I’ll be able to hit the ground running.
“I have a few weeks off, but then it’s back to work.” I still have a lot of work to do. The season is approaching rapidly, so it’s critical that I train hard during the summer to ensure that I’m ready to fly come pre-season.”
The only flaw is that
Nothing was riding on yesterday’s match at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea had clinched third place and Watford’s relegation had been assured a fortnight ago, barring a Tottenham Hotspur miracle. Tuchel saw it as a great chance to include a few youngsters from the Blues’ youth system.
That was not the case. Instead, he gave minutes to experienced players who had spent the whole season — or the bulk of it – with the first-team squad but had not seen much game action. Kenedy started on the left flank. Saul Niguez played in the central midfield position. Barkley was activated off the bench.
“We gave those guys who didn’t get enough minutes the chance to play.” So I’m glad they showed up and got a well-deserved win,” Tuchel stated, and his devotion to his players is laudable. The issue is the negative consequences of disregarding the club’s own.
Fikayo Tomori, Marc Guehi, Tino Livramento, and Tammy Abraham, all academy graduates, have all left Chelsea in the last 12 months. Each had their own motive for doing so – all of which were as fair – and the result has been a massive loss of talent. And it’s possible that history may repeat itself this summer.
Several talented players of the club’s academy sides are out of contract in 2023, and there doesn’t appear to be a clear path to the first team at the moment. If Lewis Hall and Harvey Vale can’t even make the bench for a dead rubber against Watford, what chance do they have in a Premier League game with points on the line?
There will be a spillover effect, as parents of bright kids in Chelsea’s Under-14s and Under-15s – and farther down the age categories – will be closely monitoring first-team improvements. The Blues can now provide a fantastic football education to any child, but they may not have the real-world experience necessary to prosper in today’s cutthroat game.
Many will be hoping that changes under Todd Boehly’s watch, as his consortium prepares to take over the club from Roman Abramovich in the next ten days. According to reports, the American billionaire regards the academy as a valuable asset, and it’s easy to understand why, considering the players produced in previous years. Simply said, Chelsea must make better use of their skill pool.