‘They did well’: Tuchel says one Chelsea player had the flu just before starting against Brentford

Thomas Tuchel revealed that Jude Soonsup-bell fought his way back from the flu to make his senior Chelsea debut against Brentford yesterday.

Speaking to Chelsea TV, the Blues commented on the teenager’s recovery just in time to start last night’s Carabao Cup quarter-final victory.

Soonsup-bell back for the Blues

Soonsup-Bell only linked up with the first team a day before the trip across the capital to battle the Bees.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Numerous other junior players earned a promotion from their youth ranks, largely due to the mass number of absences from Tuchel’s squad.

Yet, only three were fortunate enough to not only travel to the Brentford Community Stadium but to feature from the very first whistle.

Xavier Simons began at right-back, whilst highly-rated Harvey Vale partnered Soonsup-bell in attack.

All three held their own against the Premier League opposition, who did not hold back in their team selection.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

“Yeah, they did good, they did well in training the last two days,” said Tuchel after his side’s 2-0 win.

“The academy was closed for a week so they came out of more or less out of nothing. Jude came out of a flu and they performed very well.”

Chelsea children did alright

From an outsider looking in, you wouldn’t have guessed Soonsup-bell had only recently recovered from a bout of the winter cold.

Although it was a generally quiet evening in London for the 17-year-old, he showed glimpses of the talented forward Chelsea have on their hands.

Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

In patches, his link-up with Vale was smooth and seamless, the pair using their relationship from the development set-up to decent effect.

Vale arguably had the better night of the two and probably should’ve scored in the first half, yet headed straight at the Brentford goalkeeper from close range.

Simons meanwhile saw plenty of possession early on but faced a Rico Henry in marauding mode and was replaced after the interval.

Overall, a very promising adventure for Cobham’s brightest pupils.

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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.