When Thomas Tuchel talks, people sit up and listen.
Every syllable that departs the Chelsea manager’s mouth is worth taking note of.
Whether he’s churning out tactical chatter, praising or punishing his players, discussing matters away from the pitch, or revealing his love for gin and tonic, the German deserves our attention.
Now, his words might need more analysis than usual.
Chelsea were struck with the awful news yesterday that Ben Chilwell is set to be out until at least the New Year after he damaged his anterior cruciate ligament against Juventus on Tuesday.
Chilwell might have to undergo surgery on this injury, meaning the defender could well miss the rest of the season.
In either scenario, this is a huge blow for the Blues and their £45m (BBC) left-back, who had been enjoying the form of his life before being cruelly taken down.
Ahead of the ACL trauma, Chilwell had started every Premier League game following his return to the side at the beginning of October.
Actually, the only match Tuchel rested the 24-year-old was the 1-0 Champions League away win over Malmo earlier this month.
With three goals, an assist and numerous quality performances under his belt, our thoughts go out to Ben at this time.
Unfortunately, Chelsea cannot afford to sit around and wait for the England international to recover.
They have serious business to attend to, like defending their position at the top of the league table and continuing their push for continental supremacy.
Not to mention battling on three other fronts in the two domestic cups and the Club World Cup.
Which is why Tuchel needs to find a solution to his Chilwell problem.
Thinking outside the box
The obvious choice would be to bring Marcos Alonso back into the fold, having dropped the Spaniard for his currently side-lined teammate.
As reliable as the 30-year-old is, he simply cannot play every minute due to the ferocious fixture schedule that lies ahead.
Chelsea need alternatives at wing-back and the boss may already have found one answer.
Remember we said Tuchel’s recent vocals required extra inspection?
“He had fantastic matches in Dortmund as a wing-back, so he can also be an option from there if we need to be more offensive,” said the boss ahead of his team’s European bout with Juve.
He was, of course, speaking about Christian Pulisic, a player who has himself only just returned from the treatment table.
On the night, Pulisic started the tie as a false nine, another position Tuchel claimed he could play in.
So, who’s to say the American can’t also be deployed as an offensive wing-back as well?
It’s certainly an option Chelsea could explore if the occasion demands it.
Plus, Tuchel is not afraid to throw his forwards into different scenarios. Just ask Callum Hudson-Odoi.