Few players can lay claim to as solid a pre-season as Chelsea’s Trevoh Chalobah.
The youngster backed up strong displays against the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham to help the Blues lift the UEFA Super Cup with a stellar performance against Villarreal.
Chalobah produced more clearances (six) and interceptions (five) than anyone else on the pitch and only made fewer tackles than Mateo Kovacic. Not bad for his full debut.
Those kind of numbers are not an anomaly either, on loan at Lorient the defender more interceptions than any of his teammates over the course of last season.
His influence was clearly felt on Wednesday night as he also had more touches that any other Chelsea player.
A full pre-season and good form have clearly aided the academy star’s development and given Thomas Tuchel something to think about ahead of the Premier League season.
Speaking after the win over Villarreal, Tuchel said: “Absolutely that’s why he played. 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 by his side and Jorgi 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.”
However, football.london understands the plan ahead of the fixture remained to broker a loan deal before the end of the transfer window.
The number of central defenders currently on Chelsea’s books is why Chalobah has been told he can leave Stamford Bridge on loan. First-team minutes simply couldn’t be guaranteed.
Clubs like Valencia have been linked and could offer vital experience as the Blues enter a period of transition in their backline. Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta’s contracts are all set to expire at the end of the season, and Tuchel may need ready-made replacements for next term.
The sheer volume of defenders Tuchel has to choose from, with the possibility of adding Jules Kounde later in the window means that a loan is possibly the wisest option.
However, what was clear in 120 minutes of football against Villarreal was that the full squad’s fitness is not yet up to par. With so many players involved in the Copa America and EURO 2020, it leaves a big squad lacking match fitness and Chalobah could offer one solution to the issue.
The former Huddersfield loanee has shown he is capable at the highest level, and to take advantage of his skills, even for the first few weeks of the season, may be sensible while players like Silva get up to speed.
If his form continues, then maybe a bigger decision altogether needs to be made.
Source by Football London