June 6, 2023

Thomas Tuchel mustn’t fall into the same trap as Frank Lampard, which has seen Chelsea rue the departure of Fikayo Tomori.

Thomas Tuchel is at risk of repeating the same mistake Frank Lampard committed amid Trevoh Chalobah’s extended absence from the Chelsea starting eleven. The 22-year-old centre-half has started just once since the Blues’ win over Newcastle at Stamford Bridge in March, missing a total of successive eight games across all competitions.

The Cobham graduate has featured 26 times for Chelsea this season, scoring four goals in the process. Chalobah, who penned a new four-and-a-half-year deal in November for his efforts, has shouldered the role of Jules Kounde who was heavily linked with the west Londoners in the summer.

But, despite the former England youth international’s promising displays in the early stages of the season, he has since suffered a slight plunge in form. However, an extraction from the limelight hasn’t offered Chalobah a shot at redemption, nor has the fluctuating performance levels of his elders.

The Blues boss has been hit by a new wave of injuries, with Antonio Rudiger among those out of actionTuchel confirmed the Germany international’s absence, along with Mateo Kovacic, ahead of the weekend in his pre-match press conference.

He said: “No [they are not back], for Sunday’s match, both are not back. But also no other injuries.”

So, Chelsea’s clash with West Ham at Stamford Bridge on Sunday surfaces as the perfect opportunity for Chalobah to rekindle his form. The defender’s proactive pressing, deep-lying playmaker qualities, progressive ball-carrying and athleticism arms Tuchel with the necessary components to combat David Moyes’ in-form strike force.

If the German boss fails to entrust Chalobah with a long-awaited start then Chelsea could be at risk of losing the defender, just as Lampard did with Fikayo Tomori. Tomori looked as if he’d grow into a certain starter after completing 90 minutes in all but three of the Blues’ opening 14 Premier League clashes in 2019/20.

But, despite the obvious potential, Tomori fell out of favour following the turn of the year and was eventually shipped out on loan to AC Milan days before Tuchel took the helm. After impressing, the Italian giants took up the £24m option to buy, and Chelsea have since been left to rue their decision to let Tomori go. Tuchel must take note of Lampard’s mismanagement of the Cobham graduate else Chalobah could hand the Blues a similar fate.

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