Although Ross Barkley has only made eight appearances in Chelsea’s 20 games so far this season, the midfielder has still felt of value to Thomas Tuchel.
The 27-year-old looked all set to become a forgotten outcast in the summer, his previous squad number handed to Mateo Kovacic, potential suitors to give him game time away from Stamford Bridge limited, Barkley was ready to become a lonely figure at Cobham.
But Tuchel’s work to give him minutes has done the opposite, inspiring some important moments for the midfielder, increasing his value to the team in the process as he detailed in a recent interview.
“I scored a couple of goals and created a few and when he spoke to me afterwards I felt that he was impressed. Since then I was a major part of the group,” Barkley said in an interview earlier this week.
“It was just about showing my quality and being consistent and doing my extra work, but that was the turning point, just before the days off for the first international break.
“When you train under this manager he takes notice and he rewards you, which I’d heard from the lads who worked with him last season before I came back.
“It is great because some managers aren’t necessarily like that. If you train well he does reward you, but not in a sense that you get rewarded just for training well, you’ve got to perform when you get the chance as well.”
Barkley’s comments echo the positive feeling around Stamford Bridge at the moment under Tuchel. There is a general feeling that the quality of the squad is as much a part of the current success rather than a few standout individuals, proved by Tuchel’s frequent rotation in key positions.
Barkley’s troubles with form and fitness over the past couple of years could have made him a player previous coaches would have easily dismissed, waiting to leave through the exit door in the January transfer window.
Barkley is not the only figure to benefit from this mindset and two other figures who have impressed in cameos could be helping to save Chelsea fees in the transfer market.
The revival of Ruben Loftus-Cheek has gone from an impressive cameo to a more regular presence, likely leading to a start on Sunday against Manchester United with N’Golo Kante injured.
Loftus-Cheek’s time at Chelsea had been written off by many, placed in the same category as Barkley. But his showing at Cobham during pre-season clearly sparked something in Tuchel to change that narrative, slowly integrating him back into the first eleven as he proved his fitness and influence to revive his potential.
Finally is 22-year-old Malang Sarr, who has only started three games so far this season. Two in the Carabao Cup against Aston Villa and Southampton, the other a surprise inclusion away to Brentford in the Premier League due to Antonio Rudiger’s injury.
Sarr was signed on a free transfer in August 2020 after leaving Ligue 1 side Nice and was sent on loan instantly to Porto for the entirety of last season.
Although he was present for a late barrage from Brentford, Sarr was part of a young backline that picked up another clean sheet in an important win. Proving he can be relied upon again when Tuchel is short of defensive options, which is very valuable as we enter the most congested period of the season.
If you combine all three players estimated transfer fees using Transfermarkt, it racks up to £38 million in total. Ross Barkley (£15.30m), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (£16.20m) and Sarr (£6.5m).
All three’s longevity at Stamford Bridge has been questioned, with Barkley most likely to depart in the near future given the potential for his upturn in form to gain a decent fee.
All three have proved in different ways to be surprisingly useful figures for Tuchel, showing the value in elite coaching to maximise the value in forgotten figures whilst saving money in the transfer market.
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Source by Football London