Mauricio Pochettino has explained why Levi Colwill must fight for his place in this Chelsea side.
The defender has started just one of our four pre-season fixtures so far, although his late link-up with the squad given England’s Under-21 European Championships triumph is perhaps a factor for that.
Pochettino says he is happy with the progress Levi is making, but has challenged him to earn the right to be selected in the coming season.
‘At the moment I need to see him and get to know him better. He is a fantastic talent of course,’ Pochettino said.
‘We were talking about the things that also the way that we can help improve his game in all areas. He is so relaxed, calm and I enjoy talking to him. He has great character and personality. I am so happy to have him in the squad and to have this opportunity to work together.’
Benoit Badiashile, a left-footed central defender like Levi, is injured and has not been involved in pre-season. When pressed by journalists on whether that opens up the door for Colwill to start, our head coach insisted that he must earn the right first of all.
‘Well, we assume that he is going to play. I was clear with him when talking, we were talking about him having the possibility to compete with different team-mates.
‘For sure, he is going to play. The possibility to play because Benoit [Badiashile] is injured and higher because he is left and will compete with Benoit. He needs to deserve, it's not because of one players' injury, different types of combinations can happen,' Pochettino said.
‘He needs to show that he is ready to play.’