Thomas Tuchel dealt with unique and difficult circumstances as he completed his first full season in charge at Chelsea.

The German worked miracles to lead the Blues to their second Champions League victory last year, but troubles behind the scenes have halted the clubs progress this time around.

The Blues still finished third behind heavyweights Manchester City and Liverpool, whilst reaching the final of both domestic cup competitions. The West London side also reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Chelsea v Watford - Premier League
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Despite the long and gruelling season, The Athletic have reported there was ‘a feeling of great disappointment’ among those associated with the academy that no youth stars were present at the end of the season.

Chelsea had already secured a top four finish going into the last two games of the season, where they hosted Leicester City and Watford.

However, in what seemed a perfect opportunity, Tuchel elected to not field any of the clubs’ academy prodigies, instead choosing to include players such as Saul Niguez and Kenedy.

The underwhelming squad selection brought an end to a league season where not a single Premier League minute was issued to any of the youth players, despite Covid and deep cup runs presenting numerous opportunities.

This is despite the club sporting promising talents such as Harvey Vale, Lewis Hall and Jude Soonsup-Bell, who all featured briefly in cup fixtures.

Chelsea v Liverpool - Premier League
Photo by Harriet Lander – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

The club have often been criticised for sleeping on the goldmine that is Cobham, however it looked like the trend was beginning to buck a few seasons ago,

Mason Mount and Reece James are two academy prospects who have flourished, with Callum Hudson-Odoi and Trevor Chalobah establishing themselves as first team assets.

However, seeing players such as Tammy Abraham, Marc Guehi and Fikayo Tomori leave and flourish at other sides will bring back familiar fears about the future.

Tuchel will do well to utilise the club’s well-renowned academy in the upcoming season, with the club entering a new era under Todd Boehly’s consortium.

As well as those who have spent the year waiting for their opportunity, the German will also have the likes of Conor Gallagher, Armando Broja and Levi Colwill to look to, who could provide capable options in areas the Blues need to strengthen.

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