Tomas Kalas and the future at center back

You may think Suarez isn't pictured, but he's actually hiding in Kalas's pocket. - Clive Brunskill

I suppose this is the trouble with having too much talent around.  Everybody wants to play, but the rules still only allow for eleven starters plus a few subs, putting the ideal squad size in the low twenties.  Somebody - make that somebodies - will be left out.  Some will go on loan, some will be sold.  Not everybody will become another Chelsea legend.  Life is harsh sometimes.

Earlier, we saw how Ryan Bertrand's basically put himself in the shop window.  Now come somewhat similar quotes from young Tomáš Kalas.

"Injuries are never well-timed but this was even worse than bad timing. I was doing everything I could to show I could be in or around the first team, and then I broke my leg. When I was fit, everything was going well: in the cups, the Champions League, the Premier League. There was no chance to put an inexperienced player in the side."

"I understood I wouldn't play. In my position we have John Terry and Gary [Cahill], but you have Ivanovic who can play there too. César Azpilicueta on the right and Ashley Cole on the left. David Luiz as well. So I wasn't knocking on the manager's door all the time asking why I wasn't getting a chance. Even so, I wanted to go out on loan in January, but we didn't have enough players so I had to stay and be part of the first-team [squad]."

"I learn in training, and I will learn all my life, but I don't think it's enough at this stage. When I was 17 and first came here I was happy just to work with the first team to make up the numbers. But now the level of my ability is higher. I'm just desperate to play games, like I did at Vitesse. I got used to playing there. Over the two years I played 63 games in a row and then, with one injury, a year has gone just like that. For now it's OK. But let's see what happens next year."

-Tomáš Kalas, source: Guardian

Kalas is a few years younger than Bertrand and thus can stay a bit more patient.  Despite a season mostly lost - certainly in terms of games played, if perhaps not entirely in terms of development - thanks to a major injury and our refusal to let him go on loan in January, Kalas remains positive and confident.  He's clearly very proud of his full Chelsea debut, as he should be.  In what little opportunity that he's had, he's done little to invalidate Mourinho's early praise on the backs of his performances at Vitesse over the previous two seasons.

Unlike Bertrand, Kalas's interview with The Guardian's Dominic Fifield - and you should read the whole thing because it's excellent - comes across as positive and hopeful of a Chelsea future.  Yet with so much other talent around, ahead of, and behind him, it's anything but guaranteed.

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