KEY POINTS

  • Ben Chilwell moved from Leicester to Chelsea in 2020 summer
  • He was an unused substitute in Chelsea's first six league game this season
  • He is expected to start for England in their Friday's clash with Albania

Chelsea defender Ben Chilwell has credited head coach Thomas Tuchel for his form’s revival after a difficult summer.

Chilwell, who played all 90 minutes in Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Manchester City in the Champions League final last season, did not get a minute on the field for England at Euro 2020. He then was benched by the Blues at the start of the 2021-22 campaign.

The 24-year-old full-back remained an unused substitute in Chelsea’s first six Premier League fixtures of this season before making a sensational comeback. Tuchel included him in Chelsea’s starting XI in a home league game against Southampton last month. Chilwell netted Chelsea’s third goal of the game before he went on to net a goal each in his side’s next two consecutive matches as well.

Chilwell scored the only goal of the match as Chelsea claimed a 1-0 win at Brentford. He also scored in Chelsea’s massive 7-0 win over Norwich City at Stamford Bridge.

With three goals in five matches in the Premier League, Chilwell has been picked by Gareth Southgate for England’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers and the English defender is expected to start against Albania on Friday.

"It was difficult [the summer]. I've been asked quite a lot recently since I've started playing and the way I've answered is a cliche but: It's football. These are things that are going to happen to the majority of players in their professional career, where they have low moments, high moments," Chilwell was quoted by BBC Sport, as saying in a media interaction ahead of the Wembley game against Albania.

During the last international break, Chilwell had netted in England’s 5-0 victory over Andorra.

Chilwell has also revealed -- when he returned to Chelsea following a frustrating Euros campaign with England, where he had just warmed the bench, Tuchel figured that the young defender was “mentally exhausted.”

"I think it wasn't so much mental fatigue. I think it was more I was so eager to get back playing football, it was maybe coming across that I wanted it a bit too much. The manager at Chelsea and I had a very honest conversation where he did say to me: 'You know, I feel like mentally at the moment you're just, in training, you're pushing a bit too much to try and get back in the team. We love you here, we know the qualities you possess. Just relax a little bit. You're going to get back in.' For me, that was brilliant to hear - and then it was just about being patient and making sure that I was ready so that when I was called upon to play I could do my best for the team," added Chilwell.

Dream debut: Ben Chilwell scored on his Premier League debut for Chelsea
Dream debut: Ben Chilwell scored on his Premier League debut for Chelsea POOL / Kirsty Wigglesworth

Chilwell, who moved from Leicester City to Chelsea at $60 million in the summer of 2020, has made over 50 competitive appearances for the club.

With 26 points, Chelsea are at the top of the 2021-22 Premier League table, three points clear of second and third-placed Manchester City and West Ham and four points clear of Liverpool FC.

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