Ben Chilwell has yet to play a single minute of competitive football this season, which is a bit surprising even if Marcos Alonso has been turning back the clock five years to 2016-17 and hogging all the playing time at left wing-back thus far.
Presumably, the pecking order of our left backs will revert to the expected sooner or later, though Alonso’s form could extend that timeline a bit longer.
That said, as Tuchel reveals, another big part of Chilwell’s lack of involvement has been his fitness levels, having returned with the last batch of players after an extended, post-Euros holiday — though both Mason Mount and Reece James have been involved heavily, so that explanation does seem a bit of cop-out.
“For Ben Chilwell, it’s very easy. He came back with the latest group [after the Euros and holiday].
“When he arrived Marcos Alonso had five weeks in his legs from pre-season. He played the first competitive matches after a fantastic pre-season. He was simply way more ready physically which was natural because of the training session and his fantastic games. He played the Super Cup final and three Premier League games. Also, we only have three substitutions allowed and this is a huge problem.”
“Chilly needed his time in training to adapt to the intensity. He is ready now but now wasn’t the time to push him into the cold water.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Goal
Well, hopefully the water’s a bit less chilly for Chilly B after the international break. With midweek matches starting up as well in both the Champions League and the League Cup, there should be no shortage of opportunities for either Alonso or Chilwell, especially with Emerson now gone to Lyon to free up the logjam at the position.