Trevoh Chalobah was more than deserving of his Chelsea debut in the UEFA Super Cup and continues to show value to Thomas Tuchel ahead of the Premier League opening weekend, according to the Blues boss.
Tuchel was speaking in the aftermath of our penalty shootout triumph in Belfast, in which Chalobah started at the back and played throughout, impressing with composure on the ball and intelligent reading of the game.
The 22-year-old has been one of the standout performers of pre-season, arriving as part of the first group back at Cobham following the summer break and continuing to keep his place in the team despite the return of several internationals in recent weeks.
His start at Windsor Park was the first competitive involvement of his senior Chelsea career, following 14 years growing up at the club and three productive loan spells, and Tuchel explained afterwards why he had deserved the chance to line up for his boyhood club.
‘He has forced his way into my thinking,’ said the boss. ‘He played good games against Bournemouth, Arsenal and Tottenham and we wanted to have guys on the field who were capable of playing 90 minutes.
‘Trevoh was the very first in training and he is physically strong. He deserved to play because of his performances so far.’
No player had more touches or made more interceptions than the England Under-21 international, who started either side of Kurt Zouma and Callum Hudson-Odoi but ended the game in between Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta.
Amid the moving parts of our latest pre-season excursion, Chalobah was unruffled and Tuchel paid tribute to that level-headed approach before providing some thoughts on his plans for the defender this season.
‘He was very strong again,’ he added. ‘He suffered in some moments, but later with Azpi at his side and Jorgi close to him and helping him tactically, he stepped up again. He never lost face, he stayed calm and he was physical enough to play 120 minutes.
'It was again quite impressive, so he forced his way into our thinking. Let’s see where he goes. We still have some days to decide his personal future but at the moment he shows his value to the team.’
Chalobah was just delighted to be involved, earning his first medal on his first appearance for the club.
‘It’s a boy’s dream,’ he admitted. ‘For me, being here since I was nine years old to now playing my first competitive game and getting a trophy, it’s unbelievable.
‘When I came back from my loan, my main aim was to impress the manager and just give it my all, whether in training or games. He trusted me to start and I thought I did well. It was 120 minutes of football but I felt strong in the game and the team really dug deep, which paid off.
‘Now we’ll just see what happens and see what the manager says but whatever happens, I’ll go 100 per cent with it.’