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Comment: Chilwell's Return to Training Gives Chelsea Welcome Boost Ahead of New Season & Alonso Uncertainty

Ben Chilwell has returned to Chelsea's first-team training, handing the Blues a welcome boost ahead of the new season.

Thomas Tuchel's side started the season well before falling off the top of the league around the same time that Chilwell suffered a season-ending ACL injury.

The wing-back was replaced in the Champions League clash against Juventus, with Chelsea 3-0 up at the time and playing their best football of the season.

Since then, the Blues have fallen to third in the table, 20 points behind Manchester City. 

Tuchel's men also fell to defeat in both the Carabao Cup and FA Cup finals, also lifting the Club World Cup in February.

A season which showed so much promise saw the Blues lose a key cog in their system. 

In his six Premier League appearances, Chilwell scored three times and registered an assist despite not starting the season off the back of a disappointing Euro 2020, where he failed to make a single appearance as England fell to defeat in the final.

However, Chilwell earned his way back into the starting XI under Tuchel, displacing an in-form Marcos Alonso, and showed so much promise for Chelsea's season.

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His injury seemingly was the turning point, with form faltering in his absence - in particular the month after his injury, where Chelsea all but fell out of the title race.

Tuchel welcomed his star back to first-team training, delivering a speech as the Chelsea squad gave the wing-back a round of applause upon his return, showing just how much he means to his teammates.

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Furthermore, Alonso has been heavily linked with a move back to Spain as Barcelona are circling for the defender.

And after having a 'heated' bust-up with Tuchel during the 2-2 draw against Wolves, he could well be on his way out of Stamford Bridge.

This means that Chilwell's return is even more welcomed by the Blues, who could be without their current first-choice left wing-back next season.

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Ivan Perisic has been linked with a move to Chelsea whilst Emerson Palmieri is set to return from his loan spell at Lyon, but neither would be as reliable as Chilwell.

The defender's return to training is unlikely to see him fit enough to feature this campaign but looking ahead to next season, if Chilwell can find the form he showed at the beginning of the campaign, Chlesea could be in for a very successful season.

However, Tuchel has demanded patience with Chilwell as there is still a long summer ahead before he will return to the matchday squad.

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"It is still not the time but it is very important that he is that positive and that everything goes in the right way with the patience we need," he said.

"We are expecting that (return next season), nothing else. There are no expectations towards this season, we will not rush things. It is too important that the knee gets it’s time to heal. Ben knows it is important that we do not take risks now.

"We expect him in shape and to have his best energy for the preparation (for next season) in July and then hopefully he can find his form back, because you never know with a big injury. We are so happy he is back."


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