Malmo 0-1 Chelsea: Thomas Tuchel reaction
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Chelsea have made an impressive start to the new Premier League with eight victories in 10 matches. Thomas Tuchel has created a side that can create plenty of chances but also put plenty of bodies behind the ball to keep clean sheets, but he will need his Director of Football Maria Granovskaia to get to work quickly if he wants to retain some of his most crucial players.
The Blues have strength in depth all over the pitch, but their quality in defence is remarkable.
Tuchel has Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta, Malang Sarr and exciting prospect Trevoh Chalobah to select his back three from, and the latter has been the centre of attention at Stamford Bridge recently.
On Thursday the 22-year-old signed a four-and-a-half-year with the Blues, rewarding the defender for the magnificent start he has made to the new campaign.
Chalobah has impressed with how well he has slotted into the role as one of the outside centre-backs in Tuchel’s back three, showing that he is capable of carrying the ball forward and posing an attacking threat but also being reliable defensively.
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Although Chelsea supporters will be pleased to see their academy product commit his future to the club, they will be hoping that it sparks a contract extension flurry by Granovskaia.
Rudiger and Christensen’s contracts expire at the end of the season and neither of the pair have put pen to paper on extensions.
Christensen reportedly has been offered a new deal but negotiations between the player and Chelsea have stalled due to a lack of communication.
Similarly, Rudiger has not agreed to a new deal, but not because of a lack of contact.
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Speaking to The Guardian, the German international said: “The most important thing is that I feel happy here. I think if people look at it, they can see I’m happy.
“There was a talk between Marina and my agent. We have the situation where we are at now and I have nothing to do with all the speculation.
“This is not in my mind. I’m focused on what I’m doing because this is why I wake up every morning.”
Reports circulated over the summer that wages were the main reason why a deal has not been concluded yet, with speculation that the interest from Bayern Munich and other European giants was also a factor.
Chelsea were in talks with Sevilla defender Jules Kounde ahead of this season but the two clubs were not able to strike up a deal due to the La Liga outfit’s significant asking price for the Frenchman.
The 22-year-old has made 101 appearances for the La Liga outfit already in his career and his performances have suggested that a move to one of the very top clubs is somewhat inevitable.
It is unlikely that the interest in the centreback will simply conclude now, but many fans would rather see the club prioritise keeping the players who are already on the books rather than jumping the gun and trying to find them teammates.
It remains to be seen whether Granovskaia is able to secure deals for Rudiger and Christensen in what could be one of the most important few months of her career; if she doesn’t manage to convince either of the pair to stay then it could leave Tuchel with a significant hole in his defence heading into the 2022/23 campaign.
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