Thomas Tuchel has a reputation for preferring experienced players, but that didn’t stop him from blooding a number of youngsters throughout his time as Chelsea manager.
During his spell at Stamford Bridge, Tuchel handed out six debuts to kids from the Chelsea academy and it’s fair to say some have gone on to do better than others.
We’ve gone back through the years and checked in on those six debutants and have found what they are up to these days.
Chalobah enjoyed a Man of the Match debut against Crystal Palace in August 2021, scoring in Chelsea’s 3-0 victory and earning the praise of his manager afterwards.
“He gets all the praise and it’s well deserved,” Tuchel said. “He’s had two excellent matches. It’s fantastic these things happen in sport. A perfect day for him.
“This is what everyone loves about football – a mix of famous players from abroad and quality players from the academy.”
The defender, who admitted crying when scoring on his Chelsea debut, has gone on to make 63 appearances for the club, but has become increasingly marginalised and rumours that he could reunite with Tuchel at Bayern Munich have grown throughout the summer.
— CFC-Blues (@CFCBlues_com) August 14, 2023
After rejecting loan moves to Italy, France and Germany, Sarr made his Chelsea bow in a League Cup victory over Aston Villa in September 2021.
One month later, due to injuries to Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger, Sarr played 90 minutes as Chelsea beat Brentford in a hard-thought Premier League derby.
Apart from an extended run in the team at the start of 2022, the defender has never been considered an integral player at Chelsea and spent last season on loan at Monaco.
The Blues have spent the summer trying to offload the Frenchman, but he remains at Stamford Bridge at the time of writing.
Born in September 2023, Vale was given his first Chelsea appearance by Tuchel from the start of the League Cup victory at Brentford in December 2021.
He made one further appearance that season, winning Chelsea’s Academy Player of the Year Award, before an underwhelming six months at Hull City.
Vale has been loaned out to League One outfit Bristol Rovers for the 2023-24 campaign and recently scored his first senior goal in their home defeat to Wycombe. We reckon he could thrive in cider country.
Fantastic movement from Harvey Vale for his first professional goal 🙌🏻
— CFCJohnnyB (@CFCJohnnyB) August 27, 2023
Making his debut in the same Brentford match as Vale, Soonsup-Bell was highly regarded by the coaches at Chelsea but his start at the Brentford Community Stadium was his only club appearance.
The striker, who has been prolific at youth level, joined Tottenham in January 2023 and didn’t require a transfer fee to do so – although Chelsea do have a sell-on clause if he makes another move in the future.
Like Soonsup-Bell, that Brentford match in December 2021 was Simons’ sole appearance for Chelsea. He joined Hull City on loan in September 2022 and made the permanent move to East Yorkshire this summer.
The midfielder has already made two Championship appearances in 2023-24 as Hull look to avoid another relegation battle in England’s second tier.
Hall made an outstanding Chelsea debut in the FA Cup thrashing of Chesterfield in January 2022, with fans raving about his composure on the ball and sublime assist for the Blues’ third goal.
He made his Premier League bow against Newcastle 11 months later and appeared 10 more times during last season, catching the eye in defeats against Manchester City in both cup competitions.
But the Todd Boehly experiment meant Hall was ripe to be sold for pure FFP profit. And that’s exactly what happened, with Newcastle snapping up the promising full-back to the dismay of many Chelsea supporters.