So, here we go again. After many expected the summer of 2019 to be a catalyst for change at Chelsea whereby the man in charge was given an extended period of time to rebuild the playing squad to his own tune, in the end Frank Lampard’s tenure lasted just 18 months.
Now, there’s a new man in charge, in former PSG and Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel, who has been out of work for just over a month following his sacking from the Ligue 1 champions on Christmas Eve.
With a team riddled with talent currently struggling for consistency, amid a run of one league win in five games, Tuchel will need to hit the ground running as the Blues look to cut the current six-point gap to the top-four.
Frank Lampard has been replaced as Chelsea manager by Thomas Tuchel in a matter of days
That process starts at home to Wolves on Wednesday night. However, how different does Tuchel’s first starting XI look to Lampard’s most-recent outfit in the league, a team which looked short of ideas and confidence at Leicester last week?
Some will be licking their lips at a new man at the helm, you may think, while others may be looking anxiously over their shoulder.
Mason Mount is the first casualty of Tuchel’s reign, with the Englishman dropping out in favour of Callum Hudson-Odoi against Wolves.
Sportsmail takes a look at which members of the first-team squad could be the winners and losers from Tuchel’s appointment as manager at Stamford Bridge on an 18-month deal.
Tuchel was unveiled on Tuesday and his first match is against Wolves on Wednesday night
The Germany international, signed to solve Chelsea’s goalscoring problems of last season, has endured a torrid first six months to life in England.
Though he scored twice against Southampton to open his Premier League account on October 17, things have only gone downhill from there. Two goals in 14 league appearances since, with Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud often preferred up front as a result.
However, from playing in an unfavoured role out-wide on the left, Werner will surely now get an extended opportunity as the lone number nine under Tuchel. One thing’s for sure – if the arrival of one of the most talented German coaches about doesn’t kick-start Werner’s Chelsea career, what will?
Tuchel, though, is wary he is dealing with a player low on confidence, and he has been named on the bench for Wednesday evening.
Timo Werner has failed to fire since moving to Chelsea – will Tuchel get the best out of him?
Similarly, the former Bayer Leverkusen playmaker has struggled to exert his influence since his £90m arrival last summer.
In his defence, factors have worked against him, with a bout of COVID-19 and injury issues making consistency hard to come by. The 21-year-old should be allowed time to acclimatise to a new league and country too.
Yet patience only lasts so long at Stamford Bridge, as this week shows. Tuchel’s arrival could spark Havertz into life at Chelsea, whether it be this season or looking ahead to the 2021-22 campaign.
Indeed, Tuchel has shown early faith in the German by naming him in the starting line-up against Wolves.
Kai Havertz has also struggled for form since his £90m move from Bayer Leverkusen last year
The 20-year-old’s lack of starts under Lampard, just three in the league all season, is curious given his raw ability and knack for turning games around.
His introduction against West Brom back in September helped trigger a revival from 3-0 down, while he was also bright as a substitute in Lampard’s last league win in charge, against Fulham.
With Tuchel no doubt looking to freshen things up amid the Blues’ stale attack, Hudson-Odoi could be a beneficiary of the German’s arrival in west London. And indeed, that is the case with the young Englishman coming straight in against Wolves.
Callum Hudson-Odoi was not a regular in Lampard’s starting XI and is set to have more of a role
Tuchel was reportedly interested in a loan deal to take the Italy international to PSG in September and is an admirer of the midfielder’s attributes.
Though a move obviously didn’t materialise, Jorginho has only made eight starts in the league so far this season and could be given an enhanced role under the new manager, perhaps instead of Mateo Kovacic or Billy Gilmour.
Tuchel is a tough task-master and will want players devoted to the cause and prepared to do the hard yards – Jorginho falls into this category.
Tuchel was reportedly interested in bringing Jorginho in during his time as PSG manager
Originally frozen out by Lampard at the beginning of this season, the Germany international has started three out of Chelsea’s last four league games as he looks to seal a spot in Joachim Low’s squad for this summer’s European Championships.
Highly-regarded in his homeland, Tuchel’s PSG were a reported interested party for the 27-year-old in the summer.
Though Kurt Zouma has come on leaps and bounds under Lampard, the new manager may want to revert back to experience in his first few weeks in charge. Rudiger should get his chance to shine, starting on Wednesday night.
Germany international Antonio Rudiger (centre) could be a starter under his compatriot
The 19-year-old was the big breakthrough star during Lampard’s time at the club, with his stunning first month of first-team football before lockdown curtailed by a serious knee injury.
Though he has re-entered the fray in the past month, whether Tuchel will place as much faith as Lampard has done in Gilmour’s development is another matter.
While the incoming boss will be aware of the Scot’s panache and quality in midfield, does he have the stamina and wherewithal to slot into a workmanlike Tuchel starting XI? Already, reports have surfaced that Gilmour could depart on loan before the month is out and he has not been named in the former Dortmund boss’s first squad.
Billy Gilmour had broken into the first-team squad but will his progression now stagnate?
Arguably Chelsea’s best player so far this season, the England international was a linchpin under Lampard – often to the extent of unfair ridicule on social media.
There’s no doubt Mount would be extremely unlucky to lose his place in the starting XI under the new regime… but that looks to be exactly the case within 24 hours of Tuchel walking through the door.
He has been dropped to the bench for the clash against Wolves tonight, despite being one of Chelsea’s starring lights this season and now a regular for his country too.
The fact of the matter is, one of Tuchel’s immediate tasks will be to get last summer’s expensive purchases firing, with Havertz top of that list. Unless one is played out-of-position, the pair are unlikely to be in the same starting XI.
Mason Mount captained the side in Lampard’s final game but could now face a reduced role
After countless loans, the forward was given his big break at the Bridge under Lampard last season.
His return was admirable – 18 goals in all competitions, including 15 in the league. Yet for Chelsea, it wasn’t quite enough. Werner came in and was expected to take Abraham’s place in the team.
It’s to the Englishman’s credit that he has featured in 16 of 19 league games so far, and he is fresh off a FA Cup hat-trick. But, like Mount, Abraham’s chances of regular football could be scuppered, with Olivier Giroud getting the nod against Wolves.
Should Tuchel persevere with Werner, Tammy Abraham’s opportunities will be limited again
It’ll be fascinating to see what the Brazilian veteran’s role is in Tuchel’s squad, with the pair of course having worked together at PSG.
More than that, Silva was Tuchel’s skipper. Thus, you would think the partnership would be strong and the 35-year-old would be someone to rely on.
Yet upon Tuchel’s sacking at PSG last month, Silva gave an interview where he described the German’s removal as ‘predictable.’ Did Tuchel see that as disrespectful?
Silva was well-liked by Lampard and vice-versa, as illustrated by the centre back being the first player to react publicly to Lampard’s removal as coach. Could he now be out-of-favour under a Tuchel revamp? There is no sign of that just yet, with the Brazilian starting tonight.
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The Frenchman, having originally signed for the club back in 2014, had finally solidified a starting XI spot at the Bridge this season.
Zouma has looked dominant and assured on the whole – but much like Mount, could the 26-year-old simply be dropped in order to shake things up?
Though Fikayo Tomori has left on loan, Andreas Christensen has been waiting in the wings for some first-team action and with Rudiger likely to reclaim his centre back place, Zouma could be the one to make way. Indeed, he has been named on the bench to face Nuno Espirito Santo’s men.
Kurt Zouma has been a regular under Lampard this season – his position remains to be seen