EPL

Jorginho 'really deserves' to win Ballon d'Or, says Tuchel

By Sports Desk October 09, 2021

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel believes Jorginho is the player most deserving of this year's Ballon d'Or, but does not believe the award should be seen as hugely important.

The 29-year-old won the Champions League with the Blues and Euro 2020 with Italy last season and was handed the UEFA Men's Player of the Year prize as a result.

Midfielder Jorginho is now in contention for another individual gong after being named on the Ballon d'Or's 30-man shortlist alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski.

"Jorginho really deserves to win the Ballon d'Or," Tuchel said while attending the Gazzetta festival. 

"These individual prizes, however, are not of great value on the football field, it is impossible to make a real comparison.

"Obviously, I would like it if my player wins it, because it would greatly increase the confidence he has in his own means, but for me, it is not an essential thing."

N'Golo Kante, Cesar Azpilicueta, Mason Mount and Romelu Lukaku also represent Chelsea on the shortlist for the prestigious prize, and Tuchel had plenty to say about Lukaku, who returned to Stamford Bridge from Inter in August.

"I'm sorry for the Inter fans, but we have identified in him a player of personality who could also lift the pressure from the shoulders of the youngest and who would give us the opportunity to play football faster," Tuchel added. 

"He had always said he was fine with Inter and with [Antonio] Conte because he had achieved excellent results, but for him, it was important to go back to where he had played as a [young man]." 

Lukaku has made a solid start to life back in London, scoring four goals in nine appearances across all competitions in his second stint as a Chelsea player.

 

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    New England's Thomas McNamara headed over the bar in the second half, while Maxi Moralez's cannoned a header into the post for City.

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    Thomas Tuchel is adamant Romelu Lukaku will make a significant impact for Chelsea upon his return from injury, but insists the Blues must be patient with the striker.

    Club-record signing Lukaku has netted four goals in 12 appearances since returning from Inter for a second spell at Stamford Bridge.

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    He returned as a late substitute in the weekend draw with former club Manchester United, and could start against Watford on Wednesday.

    Tuchel has no doubt of the quality that Lukaku will contribute to the Blues' cause when fully back up to speed.

    But the head coach insists that for now, patience with the 28-year-old is a virtue.

    "We showed with him and we showed without him that we're capable of scoring and capable of winning," Tuchel said.

    "I think it's a process of adapting in both ways; the team will adapt to him and he will adapt to the team.

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    "I'm absolutely convinced and have zero doubts that he will have a huge impact on our team once he's back.

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    "Once we have the opinion that he's fully fit, I think he's ready to go and contribute what he can, which is a lot.

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    Tuchel is also hopeful it is only a matter of time before Andreas Christensen signs a new deal with the club.

    The defender, whose contract is set to expire at the end of the season, has made 13 appearances for the Blues in all competitions this term.

    "We think we can have good news about Andreas," Tuchel added. 

    "I understood the club wants the same, the player wants the same, the coach wants the same – to stay – and that’s why we need the commitment and can continue.

    "We've been waiting a long time now for confirmation. 

    "He tells us that he loves Chelsea, that he wants to stay and play a big part. He is a big part of a big club. I think he's a perfect fit and I hope that he's not done yet here. 

    "He can still develop and be a big, big player. We want the commitment and hopefully, we get it."

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