Chelsea’s season has barely finished, but already it is approaching the point where pre-season will be on the mind of many. Mason Mount may have racked up his 62nd match of the season on Sunday, with another England match still to come, but a cohort of Thomas Tuchel’s squad are already resting, recuperating and keeping in shape for the new term under new owners.
The Blues are due back into training on July 2nd, but those involved in international exploits are unlikely to be back in Chelsea colours until the beginning of the pre-season tour of the USA. That will see a number of players with a one-week headstart at Cobham and a chance to remind the Blues’ coaching staff of their qualities heading into 2022/23.
It’s a situation not too dissimilar to 12 months ago when the likes of Trevoh Chalobah were afforded the perfect opportunity to impress Tuchel while the bulk of Chelsea’s first-team squad remained at EURO 2020. The 22-year-old defender had not even interacted with the German coach before meeting up at Cobham but soon found himself starting the UEFA Super Cup final.
Chalobah told Baller Talk: “I didn’t speak to the manager. I didn’t know the manager. I had played against him when he was at PSG because he came in [to Chelsea] during the second half of the season, but I’d never spoken to him before coming back. I’d done work before pre-season to make sure I was ready but obviously, coming back from Lorient, I didn’t know what the plan was from Chelsea. Whether I’d be going on loan again or whatever.”
“He (Tuchel) gave the loan players a platform to impress because we were with them the whole pre-season,” add the youngsters.
With a rebuild certain for the Blues, it will be a crucial period for those players who want to see themselves at Stamford Bridge next season. While last year’s loan stars can show if they are capable of mixing it with first-team stars, youngsters can catch Tuchel’s eye for the first time, and some players may even dictate that their future lies elsewhere and a transfer awaits. football.london takes a look at the players who will be fighting to impress the Chelsea boss.
Trevoh Chalobah, Hakim Ziyech, Ross Barkley, Ben Chilwell, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marcus Bettinelli, Malang Sarr, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Kenedy.
The summer of 2021 saw big winners in the way of Chalobah and Ziyech during pre-season preparations. Chalobah’s of course, earned his place in the squad last term, and this summer will have a major opportunity to prove where his place will lie in the team in the forthcoming season following the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen. Sarr will also have the opportunity to prove his credentials but may have a more difficult task.
Ziyech has already been seen putting in some training in the mountains and will be hoping to enjoy the electric form he produced last summer once again. The Moroccan put in some outstanding performances to earn his place in the UEFA Super Cup final starting XI before an injury allowed his rivals back into the team in the Premier League.
Chilwell and Hudson-Odoi are set to return even earlier than the July 2nd date to ensure their fitness is up to scratch in time to prepare with the rest of the squad. Chilwell made his return to the pitch against Watford on the final day of the season, having been ruled out since the Champions League win over Juventus in 2021, while Hudson-Odoi has already been training at Cobham in the aftermath of the season.
Barkley, Kenedy and Kepa will also be in the building but with more complicated futures. The trio have spent plenty of time under Tuchel’s eye but rarely earned the chance to start, and their summers are set to be dominated by transfer talk.