Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has answered a number of burning questions from fans ahead of the new Premier League season.
It’s been all go at Stamford Bridge over the past few days. Marc Cucurella joined from Brighton – shortly after Tuchel’s press conference was held – with Levi Colwill moving in the opposite direction, while talks remain on with Leicester over Wesley Fofana.
Cesar Azpilicueta has also signed a new contract and a final decision has been made on the future of Armando Broja, who has been eyeing a move away from the club in search of regular top-flight minutes.
With a lot going on, Tuchel had a busy press conference ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Everton, and here’s what he had to say.
“No, not surprised because we were part of the process. We are very happy as our captain, our skipper stays on board. I’ve said many times he embodies everything that Chelsea stands for: he’s humble yet so successful and competitive at the same time.
“He’s a legend at the club and can now lead as an example, keep on leading, keep on doing what he has for so many years. So this is very good for us.”
*Tuchel’s press conference was held before Cucurella’s signing was confirmed.
“He is a fantastic, young player. Hungry, mobile, very intelligent player.
“Absolutely it helps with the depth and especially for Ben [Chilwell] to escape the pressure of, ‘I have to deliver because we need you absolutely now’. We have, of course, also in this position Marcos Alonso, Kenedy and Emerson. Hopefully, when things go through, Marc is the option in this position.
“But he can play very well in the back three too. It’s a similar profile of Azpi, but with the left foot. He gives us many options. For Ben, he is very ambitious. He couldn’t wait to come back to team training. He looks better and better but at the same time, it looks like he needs more time to adapt to the physicality of the match itself, which is absolutely normal. It is not only about training and training exercises, little pitches.
“In the end, it is a very demanding leave. We have to take care of him, it’s our responsibility. We can’t throw him in and see what is coming. He is impatient, we will never expect him to be fully patient. He knows, we speak a lot about it. Everything needs its time. He will get the time and still, we will try to put him on the pitch as soon as possible. He is and was a huge asset for us with his speed and repetition of intensity.”
Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey & Sean Walsh bring you Talking Transfers, discussing Chelsea’s plans to sign Marc Cucurella and Wesley Fofana. There’s the latest on James Maddison, Jamie Vardy, Cristiano Ronaldo and Frenkie de Jong, and chat on Diogo Jota’s new deal and Roberto Firmino’s Liverpool future. Available on all audio platforms and the 90min YouTube channel.
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*Tuchel’s press conference was held before Colwill’s loan to Brighton was confirmed.
“It’s a bit hard to judge him. He came back and there was not a lot of game time in pre-season to give to him because of a little injury he suffered in training. The situation is the situation, it is always very individual as always. If there is a possibility for him to have a good loan or a situation where he can develop and improve, we are open to any talks and solutions.”
“He is one of our offensive players. If we play in the same structure it will be very fluid. It can be Kai [Havertz], it can be him, it can be Timo Werner, also Armando Broja who is now in the squad. And that gives us different profiles, different type of playing.
“Liverpool and City showed it is possible to be very successful with a fluid type of offensive player in the nine position. We go from there.”
“We are some steps further. It was absolutely necessary. Maybe it was also necessary to lose that game like we lost it against Arsenal, against a big rival in the league who is trying to take our place. Maybe it was a wake-up call for everybody. Since then we have stepped up.
“As always, the last week before the season is always where you feel a new focus, new excitement, new level of focus in training. Legs are fresh now, fresher than when we trained in Florida. Still, we are not where we can be but let’s see, we feel ready and competitive for tomorrow.
“A very good training week so far, the atmosphere is back to where it was before the Arsenal game like in the first weeks of preseason. Then we lost the energy towards the Arsenal game. After that we needed to digest but last week is good, we feel ready for tomorrow. This is very important to not lose focus and take the first week step by step. We took the possibility to prepare the whole week for Saturday, nothing else. This is where we are.”