Thomas Tuchel admits Ben Chilwell has suffered from his summer of rejection by England.
Chilwell has not played a single minute for either club or country since winning the Champions League with Chelsea in May.
He was selected for Gareth Southgate’s squad at Euro 2020 but did not make an appearance and appeared to be ‘worrying’ and ‘mentally tired’ when he returned for the start of the new Premier League season.
Thomas Tuchel told Ben Chilwell to be patient and ‘find the joy’ again as he looks for game time
In addition, Chilwell was left out of Gareth Southgate’s squad for the latest set of international fixtures.
‘It has absolutely been difficult for him and I think this is pretty normal,’ said Tuchel. ‘It was, for him, personally, a tough Euros because there were chances where he thought he could have played and he did not.
‘I know that it was a tough one because you feel he did everything to push the team. You feel as part of the team but you don’t feel it really if you don’t sweat it out on the pitch and you never wear the shirt and you are never really involved, it is a strange feeling.
‘It was necessary to keep training for four or five weeks continuously. Then he had a personal break and it was hard for him to totally relax and to get his personal disappointment like off the shoulders. When he arrived here, I felt him mentally tired. Still worrying about the situation and at the same time he had to accept.’
Tuchel says Chilwell was mentally tired after the Euros and worried about why he didn’t play for England
The Chelsea defender (L) was left frustrated after not playing a single minute at Euro 2020
As Chilwell took a break after the Euros, Marcos Alonso was working hard to impress Tuchel in pre-season, and seizing the role as the team’s left wing-back at the start of the new season. Alonso was Chelsea captain on Saturday against Aston Villa.
‘He was very unlucky because Marcos was here the whole pre-season,’ said Tuchel. ‘He took this opportunity with such huge quality and attitude. Marcos was crucial for us in the first days of training and then he delivered in Chilly’s position.’
Tuchel has spoken to 24-year-old Chilwell, a £50million signing from Leicester last year. He has urged him to be patient and believes he is now in the right frame of mind to rediscover his best form.
Chilwell, who returned late to pre-season after Euro 2020, has fallen behind Marcos Alonso
‘We had some talks with Chilly about the situation,’ said the Chelsea boss. ‘He knows that I would have done the same thing the other way round – to trust him if he was here, showing this kind of personality and attitude like Marcos did.
‘There are no further worries for Chilly. He must be a bit patient and keep on training. It took some time. We had to give him a little bit of time to be a bit more patient with himself. To find the joy again and find things a little bit more easy on the pitch and not want to force it too hard.
‘But he is in the race now. The situation has changed for him. He is in good shape, in mental shape, attitude and good shape on the pitch so he can play any minute.’