Andreas Christensen admitted that Trevoh Chalobah was unfortunate not to feature for Chelsea against Arsenal last weekend.
Speaking to the club website, Christensen confessed he felt his younger colleague had earned the right to feature in the recent London derby victory.
Chalobah began the campaign in colossal fashion, kicked off by starting in the UEFA Super Cup final win over Villarreal.
He was then picked again by Thomas Tuchel for the Blues’ Premier League opener at home to Crystal Palace.
The 22-year-old sent Stamford Bridge into scenes of unbridled joy after he converted a sweet strike from distance.
His performances haven’t been beginners’ luck either.
Each have demonstrated an air of maturity and understanding of the game.
Tuchel has twice played him out of position; typically a central midfielder, Chalobah was asked to be stationed at centre-half in the back three, a task he took on admirably.
Chalobah misses out
So it was a surprise not to see his name on the teammate to face Arsenal on Sunday.
“Trevoh deserved to start with the way he’s been playing in the Super Cup and against Crystal Palace,” acknowledged Christensen.
“He’s pushing all of us to do better.”
It’s probably easier for the Dane to suggest that than others in Tuchel’s squad.
He has been selected for all three of Chelsea’s opening matches, two of those alongside Chalobah.
Players that haven’t had a look in might view this situation differently.
Kurt Zouma and Thiago Silva are yet to taste league action this term, partly due to the emergence of Chalobah.
But Christensen insisted that the overlooked duo are still heavily involved in their manager’s plans.
“We have Thiago and Kurt as well so everyone is working hard. It’s only the start of the season so it’s still a tough moment, especially because we’ve all had only a short holiday.
“It’s difficult to get going but the team has looked good and sharp, with everyone trying to push each other.”