Tuchel: The door is always open for Academy players but there are no gifts

Thomas Tuchel confirmed yesterday that Trevoh Chalobah will be a part of his plans for the upcoming season, the latest in a string of Academy graduates to have made the step up at Chelsea, and the boss has been discussing why he loves to work with homegrown players.

Chalobah’s success has been one of the feel-good stories of the early stages of the 2021/22 campaign, with the defender winning a trophy in his first Blues games and then scoring a superb goal on his league debut.

For Tuchel, the 22-year-old’s rise proves there remains plenty of opportunities for our Academy players to break through and follow in the footsteps of the likes of Mason Mount and Reece James.

‘The door is always open,’ said the boss. ‘Always, always, always. I love it, and I truly believe the supporters love it. The mix between big names from abroad, big personalities, and famous players with the Academy guys is what makes a club special.

‘When you look at the photo when we raised the trophy in the Champions League, there are so many boys from the Academy in this photo. That makes it special, and this is how it has to be. It is always about the mix.

‘At the same time, there are no gifts at this kind of level. You have to earn your way, overcome obstacles and fight hard for it. If you want to make it at Chelsea, it is so much harder than most other clubs in Europe. It’s the reality.

‘We cannot start to prefer someone from the Academy over another player if he does not provide the same level, because in the end we are here to win football games and push the group to the highest level.

‘This is what Trevoh did and I am more than happy to have him in the squad,’ continued Thomas.

‘He joined the Academy at eight years old and this is simply fantastic. I will always be happy to push players like this, but then you have to take your heart into your hands and be brave and courageous enough to take responsibility when it’s there. We will never hold anybody down.

‘If you come from the Academy, if you can produce, if you are a nice guy like Reecey, like Mason, like Trevoh, like Callum, we will never stop pushing you. But we cannot go through the door. We can just open it and show them the way, but the guys need to go through it themselves.’

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