The rise of Marcos Alonso at Chelsea is not the end of Ben Chilwell’s development

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Marcos Alonso is on the rise again at Chelsea and the player that is at the receiving end his the club’s £50million-recruit Ben Chilwell. The 24-year-old England international was a regular in coach Frank Lampard‘s Chelsea squad but the reverse is the case under Thomas Tuchel.

Tuchel started showing signs that he does not believe much in Ben Chilwell in his first Premier League match in charge of the London club. In the game against Wolves which ended 0-0 on January 27, the German tactician decided to substitute Chilwell in the 76th minute for a forward, Cristian Pulisic.

In Tuchel’s second match in charge of Chelsea, he decided to bench the English left-back for 30-year-old Spanish left-back Marcos Alonso. Unfortunately for Chilwell, Alonso’s performance in the league match against Burnley on January 31 impressed everyone at the club.

Marcos Alonso did not just do his defensive duty perfectly, he contributed to Chelsea’s attack to the extent he got the winning goal for the club.

Recall that the Chelsea match against Burnley was Alonso’s first match since September 2020, which means that the defender has managed only three Premier League appearances before Tuchel took over from Lampard in January.

Due to how impressed Tuchel was with the performance of the Spaniard, Marcos Alonso started ahead of Ben Chilwell in the match against Tottenham which Chelsea won 1-0. He went on to start ahead of the Englishman for the third successive time. This time around, it was against Sheffield United. Chelsea won the Premier League match 2-1.

Ahead of Chelsea league match against Newcastle United on Monday, February 15, Thomas Tuchel was dragged into discussing Ben Chilwell’s situation at Chelsea, the coach said he has had a discussion with the defender and he has asked him to trust Chelsea’s coaching crew.

The rise of Marcos Alonso at Chelsea is not the end of Ben Chilwell's development
Chelsea’s coach Thomas Tuchel and Ben Chilwell.

“We took the choice for Marcos in a game where we played with five [defenders] because he was more familiar with the position, he played under Antonio Conte and we opted for him for his strengths in the air, to defend and attack set pieces”, Tuchel said.

“Marcos did a very good match and scored the decisive goal and from there it was hard to come back. I talked with him before the Tottenham match and told him ‘You have to trust me now, I see the potential, I see your talent’.

“It’s possible that [Chilwell] thinks a lot about this situation, hopefully not too much because he can have trust in himself first of all, and he can trust us as staff that we will keep on pushing and we will find possibilities to reward him.

“He showed a good performance in Sheffield which was very important for him and the team, but sometimes it takes a little bit of time and there are hard decisions at the moment in clubs like Chelsea with a squad of 23 players.

“It’s my job to not lose these players and to help them not to lose their trust, and if he keeps on going he’s a fantastic guy and he has a lot of potentials and we will find possibilities for him to be on the pitch.

“At the same time, we wanted to have a start where we are fair to everybody and we don’t judge nobody by the amount of money that the club has spent, but to give everybody the feeling that this is a fresh start.

“If Marcos is in the moment the guy who took a bit the advantage of this situation, yes, but this is not the end for Chilly’s development, for sure.”

Based on Tuchel’s comment, Ben Chilwell is not expected to start ahead of Marcos Alonso on Monday against Newcastle United. Tuchel is expected to lead Chelsea to win the match to return Chelsea into the league’s top four.

Chelsea are currently sitting on the 5th spot on the league table with 39 points in 23 league games, a point below 4th placed Liverpool. All the London club need on Monday is three points for the club to occupy the 4th spot with 42 points.