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Thomas Tuchel explains Ben Chilwell’s absence at Chelsea this season


Chelsea full-back Ben Chilwell is yet to make an appearance in the Premier League this term (Picture: Getty)

Thomas Tuchel has revealed that Ben Chilwell is yet to reach full match fitness which is why he is still yet to feature for Chelsea this season.

Chilwell, 24, fought off strong competition from Marcos Alonso to establish himself as Tuchel’s first-choice left-back last term, but the England international failed to make it off the bench against Crystal Palace, Arsenal and, most recently, Liverpool.

The former Leicester defender was also an unused substitute as the Blues beat Villarreal on penalties to lift the Uefa Super Cup earlier this month.

Speaking to the media after Chelsea’s 1-1 draw at Anfield, Tuchel explained that Alonso has been ‘simply way more ready physically’ given Chilwell arrived late to pre-season training following his involvement in the final stages of Euro 2020.

Alonso has started all three of Chelsea’s league games (Picture: Getty)

‘For Ben Chilwell, it’s very easy, he came back with the latest group,’ Tuchel said.

‘When he arrived Marcos Alonso had five weeks in his legs from pre-season. He played the first competitive matches after a fantastic pre-season. He was simply way more ready physically which was natural because of the training session and his fantastic games.

‘He played the Super Cup final and three Premier League games. Also, we only have three substitutions allowed and this is a huge problem.

‘Chilly needed his time in training to adapt to the intensity. He is ready now but now wasn’t the time to push him into the cold water.’

Tuchel’s side sit fourth in the table after their draw at Liverpool (Picture: Getty)

The Chelsea head coach added: ‘It is a bit sad because you have more tactical opportunities if you have five changes.

‘I don’t understand the arguments of the little teams that they have a disadvantage in this case. I was also a coach of a little team and I would have loved to have five players available.

‘I would have made them run 16 kilometres against the top teams. I think it is a huge disadvantage in general in Europe but why

do I complain?’

The England full-back will no doubt hope to be involved after the international break when Chelsea return to Stamford Bridge to face Aston Villa.

After two wins and a draw, the west London outfit sit fourth in the Premier League table and head into the match as overwhelming favourites.

Dean Smith’s Villa were held to a 1-1 draw at home to newly-promoted Brentford on Saturday and find themselves down in 11th place.


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