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Tuchel opens up on Guehi and Livramento decisions and reveals Conor Gallagher FA Cup ‘frustrations’

Thomas Tuchel has discussed Chelsea’s decision to sell Marc Guehi and Tino Livramentio last summer, and has revealed Conor Gallagher’s ‘frustrations’ at being sidelined for this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final.

Chelsea face Crystal Palace at Wembley on Sunday and will come up against academy product Guehi, having sold the centre-back to the Eagles in an £18m deal last summer.

 

The 21-year-old has enjoyed a hugely impressive first season at Selhurst Park, captaining the side under Patrick Vieira and earning a first senior cap for England last month.

Guehi is one of several former Chelsea academy players who have impressed since leaving the club with Tino Livramento having also shone since signing for Southampton on a permanent deal.

Tuchel has opened up on the decision to allow the youngsters to depart and admits he has no regrets over the sales.

“It’s a decision we took together and we are happy with these decisions. I am happy with these decisions and it was the right thing to do given the circumstances,” he told his pre-match press conference.

“With Tino Livramento, we had a plan and we preferred a loan. He preferred to go and then it’s better to agree to the sale.

“For Marc, it’s a fantastic development and it’s very hard to know if we kept him what would’ve happened. Maybe he needed a change, a different club, a bigger role, more minutes to develop his full potential.

“It just tells you over and over again that if you trust younger players, have a role for them, they can on a regular level match your expectations and even over-perform.”

Crystal Palace will be without the services of Conor Gallagher for Sunday’s semi-final with the on-loan Chelsea midfielder ineligible to feature against his parent club.

Tuchel revealed that he has spoken to Gallagher about his situation and admitted the England midfielder was frustrated at being forced to the sidelines.

“I had the chance to speak to Conor and I could see his frustration. We met some weeks ago, after the international break, we ran into each other by coincidence and we had a chat and I apologise because I know how competitive he is.

“It’s the way it is. We play to win the game and the rules were clear when we made the loan. I can understand the disappointment of Conor.”

Chelsea remain without both Ben Chilwell and Callum Hudson-Odoi this weekend, though Romelu Lukaku has returned to training after missing the midweek win at Real Madrid with an Achilles injury.

“Ben Chilwell is out. Callum [Hudson-Odoi] is out. Romelu [Lukaku] was back in training yesterday and should be ok.”

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