Chelsea breakthrough star is the biggest winner of Jules Kounde transfer decision – Daniel Childs

Chelsea fans will have had a keen eye on France’s 1-1 draw with Bosnia on Wednesday night, not only to ensure an injured N’Golo Kante didn’t feature but also to assess the performance of summer target Jules Kounde.

The Sevilla man’s night was cut short after a rash lunge on Arsenal’s Sead Kolasinac saw him given his marching orders following a VAR review.

It’s easy to interpret this moment of recklessness as a sign of the 22-year-old letting out frustration at his proposed move to Stamford Bridge breaking down in the final hours of the window.

With the summer transfer window now closed, it remains to be seen whether Chelsea will reignite their interest in the Frenchman in January.

On deadline day, firmly tongue in cheek, I posted the well-known Jeremy Clarkson meme that’s become a personal favourite of mine. When it became clear Kounde’s proposed move to Chelsea wouldn’t be happening, I added Trevoh Chalobah to the ‘anyway’ half of the meme because, in all seriousness, the biggest winner of Kounde’s failed switch is Chelsea’s newest breakthrough star.

Even after Chalobah’s impressive outings against Villarreal and Crystal Palace, there was still a sense that a major deal for Kounde could happen and that Chalobah could subsequently fall down the pecking order.

The rapid change in circumstances for Chalobah are quite extraordinary. Even as recently as last month we were hearing strong reports that the defender could be heading out on loan after discussions with Thomas Tuchel, with both parties reportedly coming to the conclusion he needed to head elsewhere to further his development.

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But soon the path for the youngster changed dramatically. He started and performed brilliantly in the Super Cup win in Belfast, then three days later started and scored his first Chelsea goal against Palace to the overwhelming delight of a buoyant Stamford Bridge crowd.



LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 14: Trevoh Chalobah of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on August 14, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
Trevoh Chalobah could get plenty of minutes under Thomas Tuchel this season.

Those two performances, coupled with a strong pre-season, made it clear the English defender was more than capable of filling in when required and could make the need for Kounde redundant. It’s evident that the club thought otherwise as they were still pursuing a move for Kounde late into the window, but said move falling through is the type of luck young players need at a club like Chelsea.

Add to that Kurt Zouma’s departure to West Ham and suddenly the route to regular first-team minutes appears even clearer.

This doesn’t mean Chalobah is certain to start every game under Tuchel. Following the Palace win, the German reverted to his most trusted back three of Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger.

Thiago Silva came off the bench at half-time at Anfield and looked superb, further illustrating the wealth of talent Tuchel has at his disposal. However, if the Chelsea boss sticks to a back-three system there should be plenty more opportunities for Chalobah to feature when Tuchel feels the need to rotate.

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Tuchel’s final substitution at Liverpool saw him bring Chalobah on for Jorginho in a holding-midfield role, yet further proof of how much the German tactician trusts the youngster.

Although he’s previously been deployed on the right of Chelsea’s defence, the 22-year-old can also shift forward if needed as he did for Lorient, Huddersfield and Ipswich during his previous loans.

All of this gives confidence that Chalobah has the ability and the opportunity to make his mark at Chelsea this season and get enough game time to cement his place in the first-team set-up.

Part of the frustration this summer has been witnessing a group of Cobham’s brightest talents leave on permanent deals, with the pathway to the first team seemingly littered with obstacles.

It’s far too simplistic to compare Chaloabh’s journey to the rest and claim the defender made the right choice by staying at Chelsea because if Kounde had joined earlier in the window Chaloabh could easily have been added to said list of departures.

To see a continuation of young talent breaking through gives hope that the glass ceiling that was broken in the summer of 2019 was not a freak accident, and instead is something that can be a regular occurrence in the way Chelsea construct their squads in the future.

Trevoh Chalobah has that chance, it’s now up to him to grasp it.

What are your thoughts on Chalobah’s chances this season? Follow our new Chelsea Fan Brand Writer Daniel Childs on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

Source by Football London

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