Thomas Tuchel insists it is important that his Chelsea has an identity with the club’s homegrown players at the heart of the team and he believes the quality is there for that to be achieved.
The new Chelsea head coach was asked about the importance of club-produced youngsters at his media conference to preview tomorrow’s trip to Tottenham and he responded by praising both the technical and physical qualities he had seen from the Academy graduates in his squad, as well as their mentality to rise to any given challenge.
The likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham have featured in both the German’s opening two games in charge, while Reece James came off the bench during the victory against Wolves at the weekend.
‘The guys we have here, it’s a pleasure to work with them,’ Tuchel began.
‘First of all, they have quality but they also have the physical ability to play in the Premier League. I know how hard it is to play for Chelsea and compete for titles but this is the challenge.
'I’m very pleased that all the Chelsea boys in the squad now are absolutely aware of that and that this challenge that is so hard. It does something to you, to your character and your approach to games and training.
‘It’s crucial that we have this and we rely on them, trust them and don’t confuse them being young and maybe inexperienced with a lack of quality or needing other players. It’s absolutely not like this. They will be given every chance to make their steps and leave their footsteps here.
‘In the end, we also have to accept it’s about quality and delivering in the moment when you need to deliver. There are no gifts for anybody.’
Tuchel has also been keeping a close, albeit socially distanced, eye across the road on the up-and-coming youngsters working within our Academy programme.
The Under-23s have not played since mid-December but were involved in an in-house game at Cobham earlier in the week that caught the new boss’s attention.
‘I had a look here from the balcony at their in-house match,’ he explained.
‘I could not go over because we have different zones that of course we have to respect but I saw from the balcony a match between the 18-year-olds which was on a high level.’