Thomas Tuchel has told Ross Barkley he must “stay humble” if he wants to work his way back into contention at Chelsea.
Barkley was on the bench for Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday, but he is yet to play a single minute of first-team football for the club this season.
The 27-year-old midfielder spent last season on loan with Villa, making 24 appearances in all competitions for Dean Smith’s side.
Yet, despite rumoured interest from other Premier League sides, he failed to secure a move away from Stamford Bridge in the off-season.
Barkley has played in behind-the-scenes friendlies at Chelsea’s Cobham training base and made a rare appearance on the bench yesterday, but he still seems a long way off earning a start under Tuchel.
"He is also asking himself the same questions and maybe all of us here, to be honest, don’t have the answers,” the Chelsea manager admitted when asked about what Barkley’s future holds before kick-off.
"I’m sure that he worries a lot about the situation: ‘How can it come so far that right now I’m in between the chairs and don’t really know where I belong?’
"I don’t have these answers because I don’t know him long enough.
"All the advice I can give to Ross right now and what I did say was: ‘Stay humble, get it off your shoulders, all the opinions, all the expectations from everybody, all the past, what could have been, if I did this, if I did that.’”
What should Chelsea do with Ross Barkley? Have your say in the comments section below.
Barkley was once a highly-rated and bright talent who Chelsea paid Everton £15million back in January 2018.
But, now out of first XI contention, the 33-cap England midfielder simply has to knuckle down and hope he can impress Tuchel in training.
"It does not help in the moment,” Tuchel said.
“We have a certain adaptation to intensity and to the impact of the group on him.
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"He is part of the training group. He does not have to love the situation but he needs to accept it in a positive way."
Two goals from Romelu Lukaku and one from Mateo Kovacic secured the comfortable win over Villa on Saturday.
But the result also owed plenty to Edouard Mendy and Thiago Silva, who both made important contributions to deny the Villa forwards.
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