‘Deserves to play’: Tuchel says 22-year-old has earned his place in Chelsea's starting line-up after last night

Thomas Tuchel said Malang Sarr is now a worthy part of the Chelsea XI following on from yesterday’s victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

As quoted by the club website, the boss completely supported Sarr’s inclusion from the start in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final win.

Sarr shines against Spurs

The young Frenchman featured from the off for a third consecutive game on Wednesday, a first in his Chelsea career.

He began the evening as a left-back but moved further inside to form a defensive trident in the second half.

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From the first whistle, the defender looked assured and totally at one with his surroundings.

Clearly, the occasion did not phase him; it was just another match against another opponent.

Tottenham had no luck trying to get round the 22-year-old, as they dragged themselves through the tie.

Sarr stood up to the task admirably, as he did in the reverse fixture last week.

Tuchel talks the truth

A versatile player with room for growth, the man from Nice could be a handy addition to Chelsea’s squad for some time.

“He can play full-back like he did today, in a line with a wide player in front of him. He can play centre-back or left position in a back three,” said Tuchel on Sarr’s shining display.

“At the moment he deserves to play. He has played well when he was needed. He is very well aware of his role.

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“From there he takes what he can get. He needs to work hard and stay humble. He is doing good, he is solid, he is consistent and that’s what we needed.”

Malang bides his time

Sarr has actually been one of the very few members of Tuchel’s team not to be struck down by injury this season.

He’s had to be patient for a regular run in the side, ever since his arrival from France in 2020.

After a poor loan spell at Porto, it seemed this chance would never arrive.

Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Talk of signing a new centre-half, plus the possibility of another loan move, doused those hopes even more.

Yet, Sarr has shown he belongs with the group and that Chelsea were right to sign him from Nice.

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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.