'A big chance': Tuchel says player Chelsea let go in summer could've made it in his first team

Thomas Tuchel admitted Tino Livramento could have risen further through the Chelsea ranks had he not signed for Southampton last month.

Speaking to the club’s official Youtube channel ahead of his side’s Premier League tie against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men, Tuchel was discussing Livramento’s decision to leave the Blues.

The 18-year-old rejected Chelsea’s attempts to tie him down at Stamford Bridge and instead set sail for the south coast.

Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

Southampton snatched his signature for £5m (Guardian), a deal which has recently been revealed to have a £38m (Athletic) buy-back clause included.

Living Lavi-ramento

For the player, becoming a Saint made total sense.

He couldn’t see an obvious pathway to senior football at Chelsea, an avenue much more accessible under Hasenhuttl’s gaze.

Livramento has started all six of Southampton’s league games so far and is in line to face his former club tomorrow afternoon.

Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

It’s not certain how the home crowd will react to their departed academy graduate, but Tuchel confessed there was no animosity from his end.

“Of course he was highly rated,” said the Chelsea coach.

“We did everything to keep him here, to show him his future and his possibilities to compete also for a position in our team.

“He decided to go, that was his decision. Sometimes you have to accept. There are not too hard feelings.

“He was competing with Reece James, with (Cesar) Azpi on the right-wing back position.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

“I think it was the ideal position to fight and the group is not too big. There was a big chance to make it all the way.”

Standing in Tino’s way

Standing in the way of regular first-team football for Livramento were James and Azpilicueta.

Callum Hudson-Odoi can be added to that list, having been converted to an unconventional wing-back.

However, with James injured, Azpilicueta ageing and Hudson-Odoi out of favour, maybe Livramento had been too hasty.

Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images

That is very easy to say in hindsight, especially taking into consideration his form in a Southampton jersey.

Perhaps Chelsea will initiate their right to retain the teenager’s services one day and give him the opportunity to ‘make it all the way’.  

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.