Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel lifts lid on Ben Chilwell’s struggles ahead of Champions League defence

He was an unused member of Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad that reached the final of the Euros in the summer and has since been dropped by the England manager.

And a club level, Chilwell has seen Marcos Alonso seize control of the left wingback role under Tuchel, with the Spain defender even captaining Chelsea in their 3-0 win against Aston Villa on Saturday.

Ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League tie with Zenit, Tuchel has revealed the mental anguish suffered by the 24-year-old.

“It has absolutely been difficult for him and I think it is pretty normal,” said the Chelsea manager. “He came from a Champions League win and from a 90 minutes and a strong performance and had a good end of the season and played a lot of minutes for us and many important, crucial games on a high level.

“Then it was individually for him, personally, a tough Euros because there were chances I think where he thought he could have played. He did not. So, personally, I know that it was a tough one because you feel he did everything to push the team. You feel a part of the team, but you don’t feel it really if you don’t sweat it out on the pitch and you never wear the shirt and you are never really involved, it is a strange feeling.

“It was necessary to keep training for four, five weeks continuously. Then he had a personal break and it was hard for him to totally relax and to get his personal disappointment off the shoulders.”


Chilwell was usurped by Keiran Trippier and Luke Shaw for England – and it has not got any easier since returning to Chelsea.

Tuchel added: “When he arrived here I felt him mentally tired. Still worrying about the situation and at the same time he had to accept. He was very unlucky – also now during the start of the season because Marcos was here the whole pre-season.

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