Tuchel sends clear message to Chelsea youngsters; clarifies Kante role

Thomas Tuchel TEAMtalk

Thomas Tuchel has promised he will provide opportunities for Chelsea’s youngsters and push them to the limit.

One of the main concerns about Tuchel replacing Frank Lampard as Chelsea manager was how it would affect their focus on youth.

Lampard had given opportunities to several Chelsea academy players during his time in charge. There were prominent roles for the likes of Reece James, Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount – who gave an emotional tribute to the former boss after his departure.

Tuchel left Mount, Abraham and James on the bench for his first match in charge, although he did send the first two players on as substitutes.

He will be also hoping to get the best out of some of Chelsea’s big name signings, which could push academy players to the fringes.

For example, as a fellow German, he could have a better impact on Kai Havertz and Timo Werner. Asked if that was a benefit, he claimed he still had plans in place for Chelsea’s academy stars as well.

“I’m not sure, maybe it is not the biggest disadvantage in this moment,” he said. “I love to work with guys from the academy and we have a lot of Chelsea boys here in this squad that we will push to the limits.”

Pressed on his decision to leave Mount in particular – as well as the exit-linked Billy Gilmour – out of the starting lineup against Wolves, Tuchel insisted he likes what he sees from the player.

“I wanted to take the weight off their shoulders,” he said. “I wanted to give the responsibility in this special moment to a bit more experienced players and have them on hand.

“There is nothing to worry about, I like what I see from Mason so far. Such a nice and competitive guy.

“Every game I have seen so far, Mason cares for Chelsea, 100 per cent. This is the best basis for a big development. I am very happy to have him around, I will not stop pushing him and guiding him.”

Tuchel names Kante’s best role

Another player Tuchel will be trying to get the best out of is N’Golo Kante. The manager has already revealed he tried to sign the Frenchman when he was in charge of PSG.

Kante’s role has changed between different managers in recent years, but Tuchel has a clear plan of how he will use him.

“I think he is strongest as a double six,” he said. “We can use his energy and use his range, volume in his game, his ability to recuperate and recover balls everywhere on the pitch.

“He is a guy who is a big, big helper for everybody with the potential of a helper, a water carrier but a world class player.”

READ MORE: Tuchel’s first Chelsea press conference capped off by quiz on eye-catching Spurs quip