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.
Southampton snatched his signature for £5m (Guardian), a deal which has recently been revealed to have a £38m (Athletic) buy-back clause included.
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.
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.
“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.
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’.
Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Twitter account here.