By George Overhill

20th Oct, 2022 | 7:00pm

Carney Chukwuemeka part of Thomas Tuchel downfall at Chelsea - The Athletic

Thomas Tuchel’s dismissal of Carney Chukwuemeka as a first team Chelsea option was part of the breakdown of his time as manager, The Athletic reports.

Replacement Graham Potter has already shown himself to be very different to his Champions League-winning predecessor by turning to the teenager for the final half an hour in search of a winner at Brentford on Wednesday (20 October).

The former Aston Villa youngster came on with the score locked at 0-0, how it ultimately finished, as part of an advanced role in the front line, even pushing headline summer signing Raheem Sterling out wider as a make-shift wing-back.

Liam Twomey writes in The Athletic on 20 October: “Tuchel’s refusal even to countenance Chukwuemeka as a first-team option was one of many sources of tension with Chelsea’s new owners towards the end.

“Developing elite youth — whether refined at Cobham or acquired from outside — is now regarded as a key component of the model for sporting success, not simply a low-cost revenue stream.

“That means it falls upon Potter to polish such rough diamonds while finding ways to win at the frequency and at the level the club demands. No one is claiming it’s easy, but it is the job.”

New man

The Blues may have drawn a blank against their west London neighbours but it will be encouraging to fans to see the likes of Chukwuemeka being utilised.

Armando Broja, who scored his first goal for the club in the 3-0 win over Wolves (8 October), made his first start against the Bees as well, as he bids to answer the long-term striker questions at Stamford Bridge.

For all Tuchel did for the club, and his stewardship during the Roman Abramovich sanctions then subsequent takeover by Clearlake and Todd Boehly cannot be understated, his lack of trust in youth was arguably his biggest negative.

That the German was expected to be so much more than a coach by the American owners put him in an impossible position, and making him so central to the massive summer spend only then to sack him still seems short-sighted.

But investing in youth is the name of the game at Chelsea now so if Tuchel wasn’t prepared to buy into that it wasn’t going to take long for his position to come under pressure as soon as he couldn’t fortify it with results.

Teenagers go for huge sums all the time in the modern game, but rarely does one with Premier League experience cost £20million and then disappear into the reserves.

Chukwuemeka couldn’t find the key breakthrough in the 0-0 stalemate at Brentford, but he showed enough to suggest he will have a say at some point this season, and fans would much prefer that than to see him sitting behind the bench on a match day.

In other Chelsea news, Broja is being targeted by AC Milan.