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How sidelined trio have given Tuchel what he wanted at Chelsea

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homas Tuchel has already delivered on his first promise as Chelsea manager by making them a team “no one wants to play.”

But it is the manner in which he has turned them into a near-impenetrable force that few could have expected and will earn the approval of Marina Granovskaia.

Chelsea have kept eight clean sheets in the German’s 10 games in charge, conceding just two goals on that run.

It was the 1-0 wins at Atletico Madrid and last week against Liverpool that underlined his impact on the club, particularly in the absence of the injured Thiago Silva and with a rear-guard comprised of players pushed to the fringes under Frank Lampard.

Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger have been outstanding in recent weeks. Christensen, especially, has been a towering figure in the heart of a defensive three – imperiously controlling the games against Atletico and Liverpool.

Chelsea are set to offer the Denmark international an extension to his contract following his dramatic upturn in form. And he is an example of Tuchel’s ability to work with and improve what he inherited at Stamford Bridge.

That will endear him to chief Granovskaia and Roman Abramovich after they became alarmed by the club’s slump under Lampard, despite spending more than £200million in the transfer market last year.

Tuchel will be backed this summer, with a top-class centre back and a striker considered priorities. But the former Paris Saint-Germain coach was also tasked with the responsibility of realising the potential of a hugely-talented squad.

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Christensen has looked like the commanding, ball-playing defender it was hoped he would become.

Rudiger, who Lampard was prepared to let leave last summer, is reminding all of the qualities that have made him a key figure for Germany.

And in Azpilicueta, Chelsea are benefiting from the influence of having their captain on the pitch.


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