Mauricio Pochettino believes a full Premier League debut for midfielder Lesley Ugochukwu was one of the positives from our 0-0 draw against Bournemouth.
The 19-year-old joined Chelsea in the summer from Ligue 1 side Rennes and quickly established himself in our first-team squad.
Lesley Ugochukwu made his Blues debut from the substitutes' bench against Liverpool on the opening weekend of the Premier League season and followed that up with another cameo appearance in the victory over Luton Town.
A full debut was handed to Ugochukwu in the EFL Cup win against AFC Wimbledon but it wasn't until yesterday's visit to the South Coast that the France Under-21 international started a Premier League fixture.
Ugochukwu was deployed in midfield alongside Conor Gallagher and Enzo Fernandez and completed 90 minutes in the goalless draw with the Cherries. It was an encouraging display.
'That is one of the positive things, a first start for him,’ explained Pochettino after the stalemate. ‘He is really young and to compete at this level [the Premier League] is always difficult. But I think his performance was good.'
Chelsea were without 12 players for the trip to Bournemouth due to injury and illness. And several of those that started had little time to prepare for the fixture having been away on international duty.
Preparation for next Sunday's clash with Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge will be more straightforward, as Pochettino highlighted.
‘There were only three players [who featured against Bournemouth] that were working with us, the rest were away on international duty,' Pochettino said.
'That makes it difficult, but now we have three or four weeks to work together. That is going to be important for us – and also to recover the injured players.’