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5 fringe players Thomas Tuchel should start in Chelsea's last game of the season against Watford

Kepa is the world's most expensive shot stopper
Kepa is the world's most expensive shot stopper
David Nlemadim

Chelsea secured third spot for the 2021-22 Premier League season after playing out a 1-1 draw at home against Leicester City on Thursday evening.

The result thus puts the Blues three points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, who are currently in fourth position with a game to spare. The London club have a superior goal difference and a better head-to-head with Spurs.

It finishes all square…That should just about secure our third place finish 👊#CHELEI / #ChelseaFC https://t.co/ksZ3jAIOgr

Chelsea, however, head into the final game of the season against Watford with nothing serious at stake. As such, it could provide an opportunity for some fringe players to get game time at Stamford Bridge.

Considering the competitive nature of the Chelsea squad, a couple of first-team players have found game time hard to come by this season. As such, Thomas Tuchel could reward some of his players with game time against the the Hornets.

This article will take a look at some fringe players who could be rewarded with match minutes against Watford.


#5 Malang Sarr

Sarr has played 515 minutes in the league this season
Sarr has played 515 minutes in the league this season

The French defender's last start for Chelsea this season came in a 4-2 home defeat to London rivals Arsenal in the month of April.

Sarr has been one of the few first-team players who have been used relatively sparingly by head coach Tuchel this season.

He has operated in various positions in the side, such as at left-back, left-wing-back, left-centre-back, and as a centre-back. Sarr has, however, found it difficult to nail down a starting shirt at Chelsea this season.

Malang Sarr starts at centre back @Nathan_Gissing ( CFCNewsPage ) https://t.co/OfWm61AnOo

The 23-year-old defender could be in contention to feature against Watford. After all, he has played only 515 minutes of Premier League football this season and made only seven appearances.


#4 Saul Niguez

Saul has struggled for game time this season
Saul has struggled for game time this season

The game against Watford might be Saul's last appearance for Chelsea unless his loan move is made permanent by the Blues.

The Spaniard was brought in by the London club on loan from Atletico Madrid last summer. However, things haven't gone to plan for the 27-year-old midfielder, as he has struggled for game time under Tuchel.

📊| Saúl Ñíguez has played just 60 minutes for Chelsea in the past two months. https://t.co/dImSv5FzHF

Saul has found it hard to displace the likes of Mateo Kovacic, Ngolo Kante, and Jorginho in Chelsea's midfield. He has been, mostly, played out of position as a make-shift left wing-back.

The Spaniard has only played 387 minutes of Premier League football this season. He could be in contention for a very rare start for the Blues against Watford.


#3 Kepa Arrizabalaga

Kepa has played his least league game since joining the Blues
Kepa has played his least league game since joining the Blues

The world's most expensive goalkeeper has been relegated to the position of second-choice shot-stopper at Chelsea for the second season in a row.

Kepa has found it difficult to get game time under Tuchel this season. Senegalese shot-stopper Edouard Mendy has been used for most of Chelsea's games, with the Spaniard playing mainly in cup competitions.

With just four appearances this season, Kepa has made least outings in the league since joining the Blues in the summer of 2017.

Tuchel on Kepa’s future: “It depends on what he wants to do, what his plans will be…”. 🔵🇪🇸 #CFC“I know for sure that Kepa is not happy about the situation and he deserves to play more and he can be a strong number one”, he added via @AdamNewson.

Kepa could be rewarded with a rare start against Watford by Tuchel as he has played only 360 minutes of Premier League football this season.


#2 Ross Barkley

Barkely has only made five appearances in the league this season
Barkely has only made five appearances in the league this season

Another player who could be in contention to get game time during the Blues' last game of the season against Watford is midfielder Barkely.

The 28-year-old England international has endured a relatively difficult season with the London side. He has been used sparingly all through the season by his side.

Controversial Chelsea opinion but I have always loved Ross Barkley. What a man 🦁🔵😱💙 https://t.co/hh79yBoBoZ

Barkley was even left out of the matchday squad for the Blues on some occassions. He has only started one game for Chelsea in 2021-22 Premier League, which came against Burnley, way back in November.

He has so far been restricted to only 151 minutes of football action in the league. Barkley could possibly add to his five Premier League appearances this season against Watford.


#1 Robert Kenedy

Kenedy is yet to make an appearance in the league this season
Kenedy is yet to make an appearance in the league this season

The Brazilian star has had a very torried few months in West London, ever since returning from his loan spell in January.

Recall that Kenedy was recalled by Chelsea during the winter transfer window to provide back-up for the then-injured Ben Chiwell. However, the 26-year-old star doesn't seem to have gained the trust of Tuchel.

He is currently the only outfield player who is yet to register a single minute in the league for the Blues. Kenedy will, no doubt, be hoping to play a part in Chelsea's last game, having played only 70 minutes of football action in all competitions for the Blues this season.


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Edited by Akshay Saraswat

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