England and Chelsea left-back Ben Chilwell has opened up on his difficult summer and praised Blues head coach Thomas Tuchel for helping spark his season back into life.
The 24-year-old was in England’s squad for Euro 2020 but failed to make an appearance for the Three Lions, before being named on Chelsea’s bench for the opening six Premier League games.
Chilwell was then handed a start against Southampton at the beginning of October and took his chance superbly, scoring in three consecutive top-flight matches.
‘It was difficult,’ Chilwell said of his summer. ‘I've been asked quite a lot recently since I've started playing and the way I've answered is a cliche but: it's football.
‘These are things that are going to happen to the majority of players in their professional career, where they have low moments, high moments.
‘The way I try to look at it, I was disappointed that I wasn't playing in such a massive competition in England. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed.
‘But the way I was trying to go into the whole thing was that it happens to a lot of people in football. I just need to make sure I'm ready, I'll come through this stronger and better on the other side.’
Chilwell was named among October’s Player of the Month nominees in the Premier League and has started six of our last eight matches across all competitions.
After a tough summer and opening few weeks of the season, Tuchel admitted in September that he believes Chilwell was suffering from mental fatigue after a frustrating couple of months.
‘I think it wasn't so much mental fatigue,’ Chilwell said. ‘I think it was more I was so eager to get back playing football, it was maybe coming across that I wanted it a bit too much.
‘Me and the manager at Chelsea had a very honest conversation where he did say to me: 'You know, I feel like mentally at the moment you're just, in training, you're pushing a bit too much to try and get back in the team. We love you here, we know the qualities you possess. Just relax a little bit. You're going to get back in.'
‘For me, that was brilliant to hear - and then it was just about being patient and making sure that I was ready, so that when I was called upon to play, I could do my best for the team.’