Thomas Tuchel has explained why Ben Chilwell is yet to make an appearance for the team this season.
Speaking to reporters at the pre-match press conference ahead of Champions League game vs Zenit. Tuchel stated:
"It has been absolutely difficult for him to deal with it. But it happens in football. From that excellent Champions League final, he had a tough time. It is strange feeling if you don’t get on the pitch, feel the sweat on the shirt. When he arrived here [for pre-season], I felt he was a bit mentally tired. Still worried about what happened [at Euro 2020]."
"Marcos [Alonso], on the other hand, had a strong pre-season. So Marcos took his chance well at the beginning of the season."
Chilwell is in the race now:
Despite a slow start to the season, Chilwell is now getting back to his best shape as per Tuchel. The Chelsea boss has observed the full-back is now in a better mental and physical shape compared to when he first arrived in pre-season.
"We’ve had talks with Chilwell, he has to be a bit more patient. It took him a little time to be patient, he needs to find joy on the pitch. He’s in the race now, he’s in good mental shape and attitude. He can play any minute.”
Tuchel also confirmed that Chelsea will not risk N’Golo Kante for the midweek Champions League clash, with a view to welcoming him back for the trip to Tottenham next Sunday.