Tuchel explains why Chelsea defender has been out of favour

Joe Williams
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel shouts at his players

Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea defender Trevoh Chalobah has been “training excellently” after a “dip of form” has kept him out the team in recent weeks.

The former England under-21 international has been on loan to Ipswich Town and Huddersfield Town in recent seasons, while he spent last campaign with French side Lorient in Ligue 1.

He hadn’t played a competitive fixture for Chelsea until this season but has now featured in 25 matches across all competitions under Tuchel.

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However, his last appearance for the Blues came in their 2-1 victory at Lille in the Champions League on March 16 and Tuchel has explained why.

The German told a pre-match press conference ahead of their clash with Arsenal: “Maybe he feels these decisions are against him but they are for other players. We had Reece James playing in this position because of his physicality and speed.

“Trevoh played a very good season so far. He had a little dip of form some weeks ago but he had good weeks of training now. He had a talk but I haven’t been able to show him with minutes.

“We have Thiago [Silva] in shape, Andreas playing, Reece in these positions. He is training excellently and this is what we demand of him. He will see it with minutes in the next matches.”

Another player who has struggled to start matches recenty is £97.5m summer signing Romelu Lukaku, who missed a glorious chance on Sunday to put Chelsea 3-0 up in their 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace in their FA Cup semi-final.

The Belgium international has faced heavy criticism over his poor performances and lack of goals this term and Tuchel has claimed that he would’ve started against Palace if his fitness had been better.

Tuchel added: “All he needs is that spark. He maybe would’ve been a natural starter against Crystal Palace given the minutes Kai [Havertz] has played and the matches recently, but after a period of injury he lacked the fitness for matches. I don’t point the finger at him, it’s just a fact.

“Compare the difference in Brentford and Real Madrid and Southampton and Real Madrid, you see the effort we put into become a winning team and this is what we need. Romelu should’ve had a goal against Real Madrid and Crystal Palace, but if he plays we need all that he has.”