strong start to the season for Chelsea but here are three issues to address during the international break…
Tie down stars
Chelsea have made contract offers to Andreas Christensen and Toni Rudiger – and the sooner they can secure their futures, the better.
Both players have been key figures under Thomas Tuchel after being left on the fringes by Frank Lampard.
While Tuchel was very keen on bringing in further defensive reinforcements during the summer — with Jules Kounde his top centre-back target — Chelsea have made it clear to Christensen and Rudiger that they remain pivotal to the German’s plans.
Perhaps the failure to land Kounde will convince them to put pen to paper, but they would be in their rights to wonder how the arrival of another defender would have impacted on them.
Particularly Christensen, who position looks most precarious when Thiago Silva is fully fit.
Thiago may be in the final year of his contract, but the arrival of a top-quality replacement such as Kounde would push Christensen down the pecking order.
Long-term, Tuchel also sees Reece James as a third centre-back, as he played towards the end of the last season.
Get Hudson-Odoi onside
You had to feel for Callum Hudson-Odoi as he appeared to be a victim of the uncertainty of Chelsea’s deadline-day business.
Having began the summer determined to fight for his place, he spent the end of the window prepared to head out to Borussia Dortmund for more playing time.
Having seen the development of so many young players in Germany – not least Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham – it had the potential to be a springboard for his career.
But Hudson-Odoi was told he would be staying at Stamford Bridge – and now Tuchel must ensure his development is not impeded by that decision.
The German was a fan of the forward long-before taking over at Chelsea last season, with his reputation as one of the brightest young talents in world football well-known.
But he is yet to be given chance to hold down a regular place under Tuchel – and with so many options in the wide positions, it is hard to see that situation changing any time soon.
Get Chilwell playing
Tuchel has had the chance to get to work with Ben Chilwell, who is yet to play competitive football since the Champions League Final.
He went to Euro 2020 – but was overlooked by Gareth Southgate, who now sees Luke Shaw as England’s first-choice left-back. And things have gone bad to worse for Chilwell after being dropped for the latest Three Lions’ squad.
He is still to be used by Tuchel this season – and might have got the nod against Liverpool just before the international break, if not for a lack of game-time since the end of last term.
Now Tuchel can work on his sharpness and get him into condition to be ready to face Aston Villa when the Premier League resumes.