Ben Chilwell insisted Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel’s favouring Marcos Alonso over him at left wing-back was not unfounded, as he praised the Spaniard’s performance this season.
The 24-year-old made his first Premier League start of the season in the 3-1 win over Southampton at the weekend.
It is safe to say that before the season started, nobody would have expected that he would have to wait until October for that.
Having missed the large part of the pre-season due to his involvement at the Euro 2020 with England, Chilwell, unfortunately, slipped down in the pecking order.
However, Chilwell admitted that he understands why Tuchel made the decision.
“I wouldn’t say it’s been frustrating,” the England international told Chelsea’s official website about his lack of minutes this season.
“It’s about being patient, training hard.
“Marcos has been playing well, and I have had to respect that. I’ve been training hard to make sure when I get my chance, I’m ready.
“I felt fine on Saturday fitness-wise. I’ve been training hard and making sure my fitness is 100 per cent.
“So when I did have the opportunity to play, I was fine to play 90, and make sure I could make the same runs in the 90th minute as I did in the first minute.”
The situation could have been significantly worse for the former Leicester City defender after he nearly cost Chelsea points after conceding a silly penalty against Southampton.
He made amends with his brilliant volley goal, though, and it should have helped him regain trust from both Tuchel and the fans.
His comments on his situation also demonstrate his professionalism and especially in a team like Chelsea, it is very important that these high-profile players can keep their egos in check regardless of the manager’s decision.
Unfortunately for him, the situation led to his exclusion from the England squad. On a positive note, he will have a couple of weeks to really focus on reclaiming his spot at Chelsea.
Update: Chilwell has now been called up to replace injured Reece James in the England squad.
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