Chelsea defender Trevoh Chalobah has admitted that he still has to “pinch himself” after his unlikely breakthrough in head coach Thomas Tuchel’s regular rotation.
The 22-year-old had previously been a member of the club’s much-maligned loan army and has been sent out on temporary business three times since 2018. He was expected to be loaned out again this season, but instead has struggled into his manager’s plans at Stamford Bridge.
After being at the club since he was eight years old, Chalobah finally made his debut in the Super Cup victory over Villarreal in August and has played 11 times already this campaign and scored a dream goal on his Premier League arc against Crystal Palace.
Speaking to the media ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League match with Juventus on Tuesday, Chalobah admitted that his sudden progress so far had been “incredible”.
“I’m still pinching today, it’s been an incredible time for me,” he said. “Every time I get the chance to play, I give it my all.”
Asked to gain Tuchel’s confidence, he continued: “As a young player, this is what you need, to show the coach that you are good enough and that he can trust you.
“When I came in from loan, I expected to go again but got the opportunity to train and said I would give everything.
“For me, I did not realize that I would start the Palace match, I just took every day as it came. He [Tuchel] just told me it’s better for me to stay here and learn here. “
Chalobah also spoke about the influence of the senior center-backs of the club, including one of his idols.
“Thiago Silva was one of my idols when I was growing up as a child, and with how successful he has been,” he added.
“It’s great to share the pitch and the training with him. For me as a young player, he’s someone I have to look at where I want to be and where I want to go.
“Antonio [Rudiger] has been a very great mentor to me since I first came here. He took me in and helped me on workouts. When I went out on loan, he told me what was needed. Now it’s good to share the same pitch with him. “