Rio Ferdinand thinks Chelsea pair Reece James and Christian Pulisic deserve a “good run” in Thomas Tuchel’s side.
The German has heavily rotated in most positions since his arrival at Stamford Bridge with the tactic paying off as Tuchel has overseen a great start to life in the Premier League.
Pulisic, who started regularly under Tuchel at Dortmund, has found minutes hard to come by under the German at Chelsea, while Reece James is battling it out with Callum Hudson-Odoi for that right wing-back position.
Both Pulisic and James got starts in the defeat against Porto, which saw Chelsea qualify for the semi-finals 2-1 on aggregate, and Ferdinand now wants to see the pair get a run in the team.
“Listen I’d like to see Reece James get a good run in the team,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.
“I think in that position [right wing-back] he’s a fantastic option on that right side. He defends well enough and attacking wise, his distribution and passing into the final third is as good as anything about.
“Pulisic, another player, you expected him to play as soon as Tuchel came in because he played with him at Dortmund.
“He doesn’t, he bides his time, comes in now and he’s getting a tune out of him. That’s a sign of someone that’s a motivator but also that the players are starting to believe in him because he’s put work in on the training ground and they’re starting to see results.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea will now face either Real Madrid or Liverpool in their first Champions League semi-final since 2014.
The Blues always had the upper hand in Tuesday’s second leg, after last week’s 2-0 victory thanks to goals from Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell.
Porto snatched a goal in second-half added time but never truly threated to turn the tie on its head.
Tuchel knows Chelsea won no points for style in Seville but made no apologies for his players’ hard graft that yielded major dividend.
“It’s a part of performance not to let your opponent perform, this is what they do and this is what we do also,” said Tuchel.
“It was a day to hang in there, to show all the effort, intensity, all the team spirit that was needed. If you don’t have the experience, if you have a young team, then it’s the time to keep the momentum and be together.
“I’m very happy because it was a very tough fight. There was a lot of work to do where you don’t get the praise.
“There is nobody here to clap you for a tackle so a lot of hard work in secret was done, and that’s why I’m very, very happy.”