The Frank Lampard era at Chelsea is officially over, regardless of feelings and opinions on the sacking we must look forward to the Thomas Tuchel era and there is much to be excited about.
There was much unwarranted apprehension for the future of Chelsea’s young talented crop of players with the appointment of Thomas Tuchel. At his time at Borussia Dortmund, Tuchel was an advocate of giving young players game time and responsibility, look no further than Christian Pulisic who now finds himself at the West London club.
Undoubtedly with a new coach comes new ideas, new ideas will result in changes and some players will become surplus to those requirements. However, all the young players Chelsea fans have come to love over the past 18 months will not be casualties of this appointment. If anything, the blue youngsters will improve. There are a few players particularly, who will benefit immensely from Tuchel’s coaching and will take their game to the next level.
The first player to be discussed is Callum Hudson-Odoi. Hudson-Odoi was Chelsea’s brightest spark during Tuchel’s first game in charge in the 0-0 draw against Wolves. Hudson-Odoi was utilized as a right wing back, this raised the eyebrows of some but in-game it was clear the youngster was relishing the role. In that position, he was given the license to attack every time he had the ball at his feet and was constantly overlapping Hakim Ziyech. The security of Cesar Azpilicueta in the back three meant his defensive duties were limited. However, do not expect to see Hudson-Odoi solely as a wing back. As Tuchel will change formations depending on opposition, so it would be no surprise if we see Hudson-Odoi further up the pitch in games to come and his output is soon to sky rocket.
Despite his omission from the matchday squad for Wolves, Billy Gilmour is a player who could make his way into the starting eleven. One of Tuchel’s favored formations is the 4-1-4-1, this formation requires a high-level passer who can read the game yet fulfil his defensive duties. Due to experience, Jorginho may be given the nod ahead of Gilmour but it won’t be too long before Jorginho’s defensive frailties come to show. Gilmour is not shy of a tackle and is equally as gifted as a passer as Jorginho, so it would not be a surprise if the Scotsmen forces his way into the side.
Mason Mount is another player who still has a bright future at Stamford Bridge. Mount is a versatile player who is comfortable in multiple positions, he is tactically flexible and has the stamina to press for 90 minutes. For a coach like Tuchel, such a player is a dream. Mount came off the bench in a more advanced position than we’ve recently seen him but still offered the same application as he usually does. Mount’s long-term future is still as a box-to-box midfielder and once he buys into Tuchel’s philosophy could be a mainstay of the team.
Arguably the player who will benefit most from Tuchel’s appointment is Kai Havertz. In terms of performance, Havertz against Wolves had his best game in a Chelsea Shirt. He was confident on the ball, showed signs of blistering pace and dribbling. It seemed like Havertz had clear instructions on where to be on the pitch and was not mindlessly free roaming. It would be easy to forget that Havertz was touted to be one of the best players amongst the next generation and now with Tuchel at the helm, Chelsea could see glimpses of that this season. Tuchel being familiar with the Bundesliga will help Havertz adapt his game and already seems to be making a difference to the young man’s confidence. It would not be a surprise if Havertz gets firing and amongst the assists.
The final player to be discussed, is Reece James. Due to his rampant performances and sheer presence at right back it could be forgotten that James is also a capable midfielder. This is a role that Tuchel could use him in, this is not to say James’ days as a right back are over but with his technical ability and his physical strength he could be used as a deep midfielder in a number of formations. Such a change to Reece James’ game could see him involved more centrally during matches even when utilized as a right back. Under Tuchel, it seems inevitable James passing numbers will increase.
All the aforementioned young players will be benefactors of Tuchel’s coaching but that is not to say the players not mentioned will not also play a major role. Christian Pulisic is almost guaranteed to be a success with the new coach being one of his old favorites. Tammy Abraham could also become a major player but arguably has the most competition for a spot. While the nature of the appointment may have left some fans disgruntled, the future does look exciting for this young side.