Trevoh Chalobah and Thiago Silva were ranked among the two best centre-halves in the Premier League before the international break, according to the Football Database. Who scored.
The former England youth international tops the table with an average rating of 7.64 over four matches as Thomas Tuchel hatches another golden egg from Cobham’s training ground, a testament to the incubation world famous exciting talent from Chelsea.
Silva trails, ranking as the league’s second-best centre-half to play at least four games this season as the veteran defender takes Chalobah under his wing.
Brighton’s Shane Duffy ranks in the top three with an average score of 7.44, ranking the trio above Virgil van Dijk (7.17) and Ruben Dias (7.14).
Credit for Chalobah’s gold medal leading into the international break is the 22-year-old’s perseverance and faith in his boyhood side’s loan system.
Chelsea’s new emerging star endured three difficult, but successful, loan spells at Ipswich, Huddersfield and Lorient which would prepare the versatile defender for a starring role under Tuchel.
The Blues’ number fourteen has occupied five different positions throughout his loan spells, with a centre-half, a six, an eight, a left-back and a right-back.
Each of the different roles he has used has provided him with different skill credentials to not only impress but thrive under Tuchel.
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An ability to dish out forward passes under pressure, spatial awareness in and out of possession as well as mental calm to avoid emotional impulses are all attributes typically acquired from over 100 valuable senior appearances.
Incorporating the natural off-the-pitch psychological demands of emerging into the public eye and uprooting ‘home’ each season, the combination of Chalobah’s experience in the loan network at Chelsea has turned him into a defender through which Tuchel was blown away.
“I spoke to the manager between the Palace and Arsenal games and he told me he wanted me to stay, so I moved into the first team building that week,” he said. Chalobah told Chelsea FC.
“It was a good feeling when the manager told me. He spoke to me after training and told me how well I had done, that I had tried my luck in pre-season. and in games.
“He said he thought I could be a good asset to the team and learn from and support other players.”
The Blues were reportedly on the hunt for a new centre-back over the summer but Chalobah’s prevalence proved to Tuchel why the west Londoners don’t need to invest in such an asset.
With the Antonio Rudiger contract conundrum still looming, the Chelsea boss may once again see the young Englishman as a short-term ploy to fill a defensive void should one emerge after the saga.
Chalobah has mainly operated as a right-half for Chelsea this season, but as Rudiger has shown as a right-footed player, the Cobham graduate would be more than capable of displaying his worth there too.
Speaking about his versatility, Tuchel said: “We know that. For us, so far he has only played in the bottom three. For now, these are the positions, the three, where he can achieve the most at a top level of football. “
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