Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel promised that he would remain open to giving the club’s budding young academy talent a chance to shine.
Trevoh Chalobah has made a big first impression so far this season in defence, scoring in the Blues’ 3-0 Premier League victory over Crystal Palace on the opening day of the season.
And his boss called on other academy graduates to make their own case for selection over the course of 2021-22.
“Always. Always, always, always and the door is always open,” Tuchel said when asked if he would consider youngsters in the first team.
“Actually, I love it and I truly believe that the supporters love it. The mix between big name players from abroad, big personalities and famous players can mix with academy guys.
“This is what makes the club special. And when you look in the photo when we raise the trophy in Champions League there are so many boys from the academy in this photo.
“That makes it special and this is how it has to be. It’s always about the mix. At the same time, there are no gifts on this level. You have to earn your way, you have to overcome obstacles.
Tuchel did warn that pushing into Chelsea’s incredibly competitive squad would not be easy for any player, and cited Chalobah as the example to follow.
“You have to fight hard for it. If you want to make it at Chelsea, it’s so much harder than most of the clubs in Europe,” he added.
“It’s simply like this, it’s a reality and we cannot start to be political and prefer somebody from the academy over another player if he does not provide the same level because in the end we are here to win football games and to play and to push the group to the highest level.
“This is what Trevoh did and I’m more than happy to have him in the squad and happy about how he managed to make his way through to first team football on this level. He joined the academy at eight years old, and this is simply fantastic.
“This is what I will always be happy to push players like this but then you have to take your heart into your hands and you have to be brave and courageous enough to take responsibility when it is there and we will never hold anybody down. The opposite.
“If you come from the academy and you are a nice guy like Reecey, like Mason, like Trevoh, like Callum, we will never stop pushing you.”
Chelsea continue their Premier League campaign with another London derby, as Sunday sees the Blues visit Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.