Trevoh Chalobah's promotion from the Loan Army to the first-team has been beautiful to watch. What was expected to be the usual brief preseason stint at training camp before another loan, has turned into a window of opportunity. With many first-team players arriving later than usual due to international duty, Tuchel had a chance to look closer at certain others. Safe to say, Chalobah grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
The 22-year-old then repaid the trust shown by Tuchel with a thoroughly impressive performance in the Super Cup and a similarly impressive outing against Crystal Palace in the league opener, capping it with a well taken goal.
And now it looks like he’s set to stay with the team for the season, as confirmed by Tuchel in Friday’s pre-match press conference.
"Well, I think he did a fantastic pre-season with us, he's a very good player and even more important a top character.
"He has both feet on the ground, he took his chance very impressively, he played very good matches in pre-season, he performed for 120 minutes against Villareal and then another strong 90 minutes against Crystal Palace.
"So now I think it's very logical that he stays with us, and he's looking for his chance here. We let some players go but Trevoh is a guy we absolutely want to keep, and this is the status for him."
While Chalobah has been used only as a defender by Tuchel so far, we know that the youngster is also quite capable and comfortable in defensive midfield — as he’s shown in his previous loan stints, including at FC Lorient in France last season.
While Tuchel isn’t quite ready to rely on that option, he admits it’s something they’ve talked about on the training ground already and could become an option later in the season.
"Yes, we know this. For us, so far, he has only played in the back three. Right now, I say these three positions are the most where he can achieve in high-level football. But it is only my opinion after six, seven weeks so there's enough room to convince me that he is maybe even a solution for us as the fourth midfielder.
“[We] have had a talk with it on the pitch with the staff, because we saw him doing a good ball possession exercise in the middle of the pitch with the staff. [We] need time to figure that out, now is not the time to confuse him and try too many roles.
“He has settled into the back three and he has learned what it takes to play in this position tactically, the behaviour of the game and now he needs to learn what it takes to be a professional for Chelsea. He has big role models on his side, top players so it is step by step. Maybe in time, we will put him in midfield when all the other processes are done."
- Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.london
With Chelsea involved in five competitions this season, including the Club World Cup, securing a fourth midfielder to back up the trio of N’Golo Kanté, Jorginho, and Mateo Kovačić, would be useful. If Chalobah can help out there, that’s just an added bonus.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Sunday’s derby at Arsenal could provide Chalobah with yet another chance to showcase his skills and talent on the big stage. Even if he doesn’t start or doesn’t play, it sounds like he will play a big role in the team going forward, and that’s fantastic for him, for the team, and the Academy as well.