Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel was left frustrated on Saturday when Burnley fought back to earn a surprise 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge. The Blues remain top of the Premier League, although the result may have given the German food for thought. As such, Express Sport analyses four potential difference-makers crying out for more game time.
When Barkley was not moved on during the summer transfer window, many were left surprised due to the competition in Chelsea’s midfield.
Somewhat predictably, he has found opportunities hard to come by this campaign, although he has been used more regularly from the bench over the past few games.
Against Burnley he was deployed in a more attacking role, showing glimpses of the quality which tempted Chelsea into recruiting him from Everton in the first place.
With a serious point to prove, the undeniably talented Barkley could be a rogue wildcard for Tuchel this season if he is ever in need of a game-winning spark.
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To say Saul’s loan stint at Stamford Bridge from Atletico Madrid has been disappointing so far would be an understatement.
Since joining on deadline day, a grand total of three appearances in all competitions is a testament to how poor his early showings have been under Tuchel.
Against Burnley, he was left untouched on the bench when Chelsea needed a winning goal during the last ten minutes.
However, he spent nine full seasons with Diego Simeone’s majestic Atletico side, so there is no denying there’s a quality player in there.
When both Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner were struck down with injury against Malmo in October, not many at Chelsea found it easy to see the bright side.
Hudson-Odoi may be an exception, however, as Kai Havertz’s switch to a central role created an opening for him to show exactly what he can do out wide.
Pace, neat footwork and directness are all key attributes of the youngster, and his recent performances have perhaps deserved more than the one-goal total he boasts so far this season.
Even when Tuchel’s star attackers return, the England international will be desperate to nail down his spot in order to see more action for the rest of the campaign.
Since his surprise breakthrough at the start of the season, praise has poured in for Chalobah who has been a breath of fresh air at centre-back.
Supreme confidence on the ball, both in terms of passing and dribbling into midfield, sets him apart from many other Premier League defenders.
Unfortunately for the 22-year-old, he faces competition from seasoned veterans like Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger for game time, which has restricted opportunities.
However, given that he has impressed virtually every time he is given a chance by Tuchel, he could have a solid case for more regular action in the near future.