Thomas Tuchel has revealed he dropped Chelsea star Mason Mount against Manchester City because he felt he wasn't '100 per cent'.
The 23-year-old was benched at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon and came on with ten minutes to go as the Blues fell to a 1-0 defeat in Manchester.
Mount's omission was a surprise having been an almost guaranteed starter during his time in the first-team under Frank Lampard, and now Tuchel.
The Chelsea head coach explained Mount wasn't in his 'untouchable' zone which was a factor in his decision to start Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic over the England international.
He said: "I felt Mason not in the 100 per cent zone where he is like untouchable, which he normally almost is. So we took that decision and it can happen from time to time. He’s not happy about it, but it will not last long because everyone loves Mason – me included.”
Mount has played 29 times already for Chelsea this season in all competitions, one of their more consistent players, scoring seven goals and providing six assists.
The England star gave former boss Lampard the 'burning eyes' when he was dropped. Lampard told the Guardian: "I remember every time I didn't play Mason – and people will say it wasn't that much – but his eyes were burning you in the meeting room the minute I didn’t pick him and that’s a 20-year-old kid. I liked that because it reminded me of myself."
Tuchel admitted Mount offered him the same look but completely understands his mentality of wanting to play all of the time.
He added: “Yeah, I get them (burning eyes) and this is absolutely normal. But it’s still within Mason’s character of kindness and being polite and being respectful, so there is no harm in this.
"I get the eyes, I get the look. I know the look, of course."
Mount is set to return against Brighton when Chelsea make the trip down to the south coast on Tuesday night at the Amex Stadium as they eye an immediate bounce back from the weekend's defeat against Manchester City.