Thomas Tuchel has said he could understand if Ben Chilwell felt disappointed to be out of the Chelsea side recently but has reiterated that he sees a lot of potential in the left-back to become a big player for the Blues.
Chilwell arrived at Stamford Bridge from Leicester in the summer and shone under former head coach Frank Lampard, after initially suffering with a heel injury.
Since Tuchel’s arrival, the England international has seen his playing time reduced, with Marcos Alonso impressing as a wing-back under the German.
Tuchel insists that the door is certainly not closed for Chilwell though and that the left-back will be ‘rewarded’ with minutes soon.
‘Chilly is a very talented player and we will find possibilities for him to have minutes on the pitch, because he deserves that,’ explained Thomas.
‘We took a difficult decision to go with Marcos over Chilly in a game [v Burnley] where we decided to go with five at the back purely because we felt he had more familiarity with that position. He had played it so well under Antonio Conte and it was just a decision we went for.
‘We chose Marcos against Burnley for his strength in the air, because we felt that Burnley would pose an aerial threat and Marcos could also be a good source of attack for us at set-pieces. Of course, he scored the decisive goal against Burnley and from there it was very to leave him out. We played Tottenham and we didn’t make too many changes in that position.
‘I spoke to Chilly and I told him that he must trust me that I can see his potential and his talent he will be a big player for us. With Chilly, I see another very nice guy, a very reflective person and intelligent.
‘We are looking at ways to reward him. He put in a very good performance against Sheffield United, which was important for him and for the team.’
Tuchel was asked at his pre-match press conference whether he could understand if Chilwell was frustrated at losing his place in the side through not fault of his own?
‘I could see it being possible that he is looking at the current situation,’ added the boss. ‘Having said that, I hope he doesn’t dwell on it too much because there is the trust there for him from us to reward him.
‘We are looking at ways to reward him, because he deserves that. But at the same time, we wanted to make it fair for everyone by making it a fresh start for each individual player, regardless of how much they cost or how many games they had previously played.
‘Right now, Marcos has had an opportunity and taken it very well but this is absolutely not the end for Chilly’s development.’