Tuchel might've already found his new Marquinhos in two Chelsea games this season - TCC View
The campaign might only still be in its infant stage but Chelsea and particularly Trevoh Chalobah are already making an impression.
2021/22 couldn’t have begun in a much brighter fashion for the reigning Champions League holders.
A penalty shootout victory over Villarreal in the Super Cup final teed Thomas Tuchel’s team up nicely for a season full of surprises.
Kepa Arrizbalaga became the spot-kick hero, whilst Chalobah made his senior Chelsea debut in front of Europe’s watchful eye.
Just days later, the Blues cruised past Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on the Premier League’s curtain-raiser weekend.
A trio of unanswered goals left the home fans fizzing full of optimism, especially because Chalobah concluded a fine display with an equally luscious finish.
See a running theme here?
All about Trevoh
Everything Chelsea have got right so far this term- granted it’s only been two games- have been in some way connected to their emerging academy graduate.
Cobham has plenty of those, as Paul Merson kindly pointed out. Yet, the latest spotlight is now shining directly on Chalobah.
The 22-year-old has captured not only the headlines but the hearts and minds of supporters and pundits, in the past week.
Rio Ferdinand praised his performance in the Super Cup, which lead nicely into the picture-perfect moment at home to Palace.
His maiden senior Chelsea goal couldn’t have arrived at a better time, in a better place, in front of better people.
And all of this has been achieved whilst playing in an unfamiliar position.
Tuchel decided from the first match in pre-season that he wanted Chalobah in defence, rather than his customary midfield role.
He was trialled as part of a back three in all of the friendly fixtures leading up the Villarreal tie.
Evidently, Chalobah passed the test and started both of the Blues first two competitive outings of the year.
So far, it wouldn’t be obvious to the naked eye that he’d undergone a role change in such a short period.
Of course, there are areas to be refined and worked on. But Tuchel now has a viable defensive option to go along with his current roster of internationals.
This is not the only occasion the German coach has transformed a player from one position to another.
Cast your minds back to his Paris Saint-Germain days and a similar alteration can be found in Marquinhos’ CV.
The Brazilian had spent a decent proportion of his PSG career as a centre-back
Until Tuchel decided he belonged further upfield as a protective rock.
Of course, it’s too soon to compare Chalobah and Marquinhos directly, considering there are five years and a lot of footballing miles between the two.
But if Tuchel can work his magic on the Chelsea youngster as he did in Paris, then the judgements would be justified.