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Thomas Tuchel reveals delight over Ben Chilwell's Chelsea return

Robert Calcutt

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Thomas Tuchel reveals delight over Ben Chilwell's Chelsea return

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has revealed his and the club’s delight at seeing Ben Chilwell returning to the starting lineup.

The 25-year-old started in their 1-0 win against Everton on Saturday evening, the Blues’ first three points of the new campaign.

He even assisted the only goal of the game, winning a foul inside the area towards the end of the first half before Jorginho netted the resulting penalty.

It was the left wing-back’s first start for Chelsea since November last year when they faced Juventus in the Champions League group stages.

Midway through the second half of the 4-0 win against the Italian giants, he was substituted off with an injury which was soon revealed to be damage to his anterior cruciate ligament.

He was close to making a swift recovery but during the festive period, he faced another setback and was sidelined for even longer.

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The England international’s first appearance since the injury came against Watford on the final day of last season, when he came off the bench towards the end of the victory against the Hornets.

Chilwell is now back amongst the starting XI, and Tuchel is pleased to see him return to the side.

"Everyone is so happy,” he told the official Chelsea website.

“He worked so hard through pre-season and his holidays after his injury to have this possibility. 

“It came maybe early, he still lacks rhythm and full confidence. There is no other way than playing."

The defender himself also spoke on how it felt to make his first start in just under nine months, when he said: "I've had the whole of pre-season and a few extra weeks coming in early.

Ben Chilwell won the penalty for Chelsea. (Alamy)
Ben Chilwell won the penalty for Chelsea. (Alamy)

“It's completely different to today. It's intense. 

“One of the toughest places to come here, first game and happy to get the win. I'm exhausted."

Although Chilwell is edging closer to returning to full fitness, he will now face competition for a starting spot in the side amid the arrival of Marc Cucurella.

The Spaniard arrived from Brighton on Friday afternoon and was soon involved with his new teammates, coming on for Kalidou Koulibaly in the win against Everton.

Cucurella and Koulibaly made their competitive debuts for the side against the Merseyside outfit, with Raheem Sterling also featuring for the first time.

Chelsea had not won at Goodison Park since 2017 before Saturday, and the win has ensured a positive start to the season.

Topics: Thomas Tuchel, Ben Chilwell, Chelsea

Robert Calcutt
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