Thomas Tuchel has praised Chelsea teenager Lewis Hall’s performance in the 5-1 win over Chesterfield on Saturday as he hinted at potential more first team involvement going forward.
It was already impressive that Hall, who is naturally a midfielder, made slotting in at the left of Chelsea’s three-man defence look easy, but he was also one of the best players in the game.
Being a left-footed player, as well as his experience as a midfielder, certainly helped him transition into a ball-playing defender with a 92.5 percent passing accuracy throughout the game.
The way he picked out Romelu Lukaku with a cross for the third goal in the game illustrated his playmaking ability too.
It is far from being his only contribution, though. Defensively, he made two tackles, an interception, and won 10 of his 13 duels.
Interestingly, while impressed, Tuchel did not seem surprised by the 17-year-old’s display.
“He did what he did in training,” the German told Chelsea TV about Hall’s impressive debut.
“Also credit to the guys around him; Saul [Niguez], Mateo [Kovacic], and Malang [Sarr], [who made] it easy for him.
“The dressing room is very supportive for these players, the environment is a good environment that they can show their level.
“In the end, they [the academy players] need to show it, with all the tension, being a bit nervous and playing in front of a big crowd.
“But he [Hall] did well. He was involved in goals. He has a lot of things to learn, but that’s why he’s with us, and now is the moment to continue.”
Tuchel has had a hard time rotating his defence in recent weeks, having had to abandon the three-man defence in the win over Tottenham Hotspur.
Hall’s emergence will give the Chelsea manager more options, at least in the cup competitions.