The international break is here and underway as Chelsea’s stars fly across the globe to represent their national teams, while leaving Thomas Tuchel short of players to work with in training.
No doubt the remaining Blues will enjoy a well-deserved rest, but they will also have ample time to continue to work under the German in preparation for Chelsea’s fixture against Brentford and beyond.
Tuchel will have 12 senior players to work with including the likes of Lewis Baker and Charly Musonda who have spent time with the Blues’ under-23s this season, but may feel that his stocks need replenishing with some Chelsea youngsters to allow him to run sessions that can truly benefit the team.
Some of the youth stars are on international duty themselves, including the likes of goalkeeper Teddy Sharman-Lowe, under-23 captain Harvey Vale, Brodi Hughes, Sam McClelland and more. We take a look at five options Tuchel could call into training.
Given his recent exposure to first team training and involvement on the bench in the Carabao Cup against Aston Villa, ‘the next Virgil van Dijk’ is perhaps the obvious name to make the step up over the international break.
Mbuyamba missed out on the Netherlands youth squad, though Chelsea’s Ian Maatsen (on loan at Coventry) did make the cut. Despite some difficult performances in PL2, the defender will be growing familiar with the first team environment at Cobham and will be able to add to the much depleted centre-half position.
Another player with experience of training with the first team. McEachran has spent time training with the senior side ahead of European ties over the years and, while at 21 would probably prefer to be on loan, has shown plenty of technical ability in the passing department. That will aid any transition.
Now, obviously a senior member of the youth side and the centre midfielder could help bridge the gap. He was involved in the England Under-17 side that finished runners-up in the 2017 European Championships alongside Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Rankine deserves some reward for the impact he had against Blackburn over the weekend. Playing down the right, the youngster injected plenty of energy into the game that had been lacking and looks like he would be able to have a similar impact in training. Rankine looked capable on the right side of midfield or in a wing back role which could mean he is suited to take the role in training given Reece James and Cesar Azpilicueta’s absence.
The 18-year-old has featured in all seven PL2 matches this season, the EFL Trophy clash with Exeter and UEFA Youth League, and will no doubt be keen to prove himself.
Simons had his 2020/21 season interrupted by injury but is now on the comeback trail and pushing to improve. Despite his red card at the weekend against Blackburn, he was one of the more established performers. He trained as a midfielder but the 18-year-old can be deployed at right-back and showed good delivery and ambition going forwards.
Like Rankine, the 19-year-old has shown all his ability on the wing but down the opposite flank. He could provide a useful body where Ben Chilwell and Marcos Alonso are now not available, but is certainly more suited to an advanced position.
Nunn was initially identified as someone who could play across the front three, being another of Chelsea’s signings from the lower leagues in Crewe. The Republic of Ireland under-19 international enjoyed 23 appearances in the development squad last term and has enjoyed significant minutes once again so far this season.
Source by Football London