Thomas Tuchel shared his thoughts about the Chelsea academy during a press conference before his side welcome Manchester United to Stamford Bridge on Sunday. The star manager was full of praise for the crop of players Chelsea's academy has produced.
When asked if the quality of the emerging players in the academy surprised him, Thomas Tuchel said:
“Surprised I don't know, but we saw it very quickly in training that we have some very good kids here. What makes me maybe the happiest is how much they care about the shirt and the club and how much they want to make it here.
"This makes it special, not only for me as a coach but for the supporters. Of course, for our supporters but I think for all people who love the game, love the teamwork in the game that can make the difference. It is a fantastic mix between homegrown talents, still young boys with the future in front of them.”
"They have still not reached the highest level, still have grown in personality and character but also football wise. It is a fantastic mix between top players from abroad. That makes it very exciting for me to work with. I think that gives also for spectators and guys who love the game a special feeling, which is amazing.”
Chelsea's academy is widely regarded as one of the best in European football, and it has produced a good number of current Chelsea regulars. Players from the club’s youth ranks like Mason Mount, Callum Hudson Odoi, Andreas Christensen, and Reece James formed the spine of the team that led the club to European glory last year.
Youth prospect Trevor Chalobah has also broken into the Chelsea squad this season and has put up some impressive performances, leading the club to cool its interest in Sevilla defender Joules Kounde.
"This is what we expect from him" - Thomas Tuchel praises Chelsea star
Thomas Tuchel was then asked about a specific product of the Chelsea academy, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who had a brilliant game in the demolition of Juventus midweek. Tuchel said about the Englishman:
“I will always like to repeat it now because I see the potential and I think he knows his potential. Since he was an academy player, everyone was aware of his potential and now he has to show it to everyone. Everyone in the stadium must know how good and strong Ruben is. This is the next step.
"This is what he is doing because otherwise he would not play. It's about performance and he deserves to play. He is in competition for Mateo, N'Golo, Jorginho, Saul, he is in the toughest competition for minutes on the pitch.
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"I am happy with Ruben, he was part of a fantastic performance [against Juventus] and this is what we expect of him.”