'Tears in my eyes': Leboeuf says he almost cried after what 22-year-old Chelsea player did on Saturday

Frank Leboeuf was overwhelmed with emotion following Trevoh Chalobah’s first senior goal for Chelsea on the weekend.

Speaking on ESPN, Leboeuf admitted he was close to tears after witnessing Chalobah’s incredible moment against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

It’s been quite a whirlwind last seven days for the 22-year-old.

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He made his senior competitive Chelsea debut in the Super Cup final last Wednesday.

This was followed up by breaking his Premier League duct for the Blues on Saturday against Crystal Palace, in front of a full Stamford Bridge stadium.

Chalobah concluded his wonderful week by whacking in a wonderful strike from distance, that topped off his and Chelsea’s awesome afternoon.

“I almost had tears in my eyes when I saw him scoring and the celebration, that was absolutely fantastic,” admitted Lebouef.

The defender has now forced his way into Thomas Tuchel’s plans, where it once seemed he was going to be cast aside.

Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

His performances may also have altered the Blues transfer movements involving Kounde.

Sevilla’s highly-rated centre-back is a top target of the Champions League holders.

Frank assessment

However, thanks to Chalobah’s emergence, Chelsea might want to rethink their strategy concerning the France international.

Leboeuf certainly echoed this sentiment, insisting there wouldn’t be room for Kounde based on the current predicament.

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“He (Chalobah) had a very good Super Cup final game, then he had a very good game against Crystal Palace yesterday.

“I have doubts that Chelsea need another defender because they already have lots of defenders.

“I already said Kounde is a fantastic player and he should be playing for Chelsea, but you cannot make everyone happy.

“So, what’s the point in having Chalobah, (Kurt) Zouma, maybe (Andreas) Christensen or (Antonio) Rudiger or maybe Thiago Silva on the bench?

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“He (Tuchel) will have to make choices. There are only two seats for five maybe six if Kounde comes.

“It’s too many. If Chalobah goes on like that, of course, they don’t need Kounde.”

Kounde or Chalobah?

Obviously, Chalobah’s standing within the team cannot simply be based on two matches.

Before his recent breakout, he had been on loan with struggling Ligue 1 outfit, Lorient.

In that same period, Kounde helped Sevilla finish fourth in La Liga and was named in France’s European Championship squad.

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So there are clear disparities between the players in terms of experience, despite both being the same age.

But if Chalobah can hold down a regular spot in Chelsea’s line-up, then his employers could save a lot of money by not buying Kounde this summer.  

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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.