Thomas Tuchel is set to walk out with his Chelsea side for one final time this season when the Blues face Watford on Sunday. It will be the last game of a long and tough campaign for the West London outfit, where they will have to settle for third place.
The cup competitions brought joy and heartbreak by the plenty. A historic comeback was dashed away by Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, while Liverpool denied the Blues on penalties twice in both domestic cup finals.
While European Super Cup and Club World Cup glory were on the table, the German coach may dread to think about the fine margins. Discussing the campaign, Tuchel said: “It was very challenging but at the same time, it was also demanding but also a lot of fun.
“This is a pure pleasure to be in the middle of it and still have the chance to guide the team and to be a part of it. So it is fine. We always try to adapt and find solutions.”
With nothing left to play for other than a final send off, the German coach could look towards the future in his team selection, especially given the talent in the Cobham academy. With that said, here’s a look at three potential youth call ups for Watford.
The 18-year-old has already featured for the first-team this season, making five senior appearances so far. Three of those came in the FA Cup, two were in the Carabao Cup.
While four games came from the bench for the youngster, one was a start against Brentford in the quarter-finals of the League Cup, where he managed 65 minutes. The performance was impressive, showing plenty of potential against a Premier League outfit.
In addition to all that, Vale is versatile and can play both in midfield and as a full-back if required.
With the Blues low on centre-back numbers, the promising Lewis Hall could be called upon. The 17-year-old has already managed one start for the senior side, named in the line-up to face Chesterfield in the FA Cup.
The defender was impressive at the back and even picked up an assist, setting up Romelu Lukaku for one of the five goals. He rarely looked out of place and played the full game in front of the Stamford Bridge crowd.
A January signing from Championship side Derby County, Dylan Williams has been pictured in first-team training since his arrival. The 18-year-old left-back has been restricted to youth minutes for Chelsea, but has already played some senior football this season.
That came under Wayne Rooney with the Rams, making six second division appearances and two in the Carabao Cup. He could look to operate in the wing-back role, should he be given the chance.