Thomas Tuchel has delivered on his early Chelsea promise in a way nobody expected

Thomas Tuchel doesn't appear to go in for subtext.

What the Chelsea head coach says is exactly what he means and that has led to a couple of awkward exchanges with reporters, not to mention a rather damning post-match analysis of Callum Hudson-Odoi's performance against Southampton.

That Tuchel lacks a filter when dealing with the press is useful. It enables him to deliver true insight and, on occasion, a peek behind the curtain at Stamford Bridge.

Take, for example, his comments about enhancing the value of the club's players. The question was specifically about Kepa Arriazabalga but Tuchel expanded it nonetheless.

He said: "No matter if we bought them for crazy money, if they come through the academy, or they were a free agent when they arrived, it is our job to push every player to the limit, this is what counts.

"We are pretty selfish. Why? Because we want to have them in the best shape on the pitch. Of course, the club wants the market value kept the same or increased.

"But for me, we want the guy in the best shape and we want competition in every position."

Tuchel is only a month into his Chelsea tenure but there's no doubt he has already done a lot to protect the value of several members of the first-team squad.

Antonio Rudiger, for instance, has gone from sporadic starter to one of the first names on the Blues teamsheet. So has Jorginho

Timo Werner's form has too improved and he looks far more like the forward who terrorised defences in the Bundesliga last season.

Even Kepa is on something of an upward trend. Chelsea will never – unless something rather bizarre takes place – recoup the full £71million they paid for the Spaniard in 2018 but back-to-back clean sheets against Barnsley and Newcastle United respectively at least highlighted that all is not lost for the 26-year-old.

Yet perhaps the player who has benefitted most from Tuchel's appointment is the one who looked the odd-man out after his arrival.

Step forward, Andreas Christensen.

The Denmark international has been on Chelsea's books for almost nine years, joining the club from Brondby when he was just 15 years old.

His talents were immediately clear. Christensen was an elegant defender who could even step into midfield given his gifts in possession.

Soon enough came the hype, and from John Terry no less.

"Believe me, I am sure that he will be a top footballer and one of the future men for Chelsea," Terry told TV2 Sporten. "I talk to him daily, train with him and try to give him as much advice as I can.

"I have always told him that he should chase me and knock me off the team. He should be hungry to take my place in the team. For me, Andreas is a brilliant footballer and he will certainly get his chance at Chelsea."

After a two-season loan spell in the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach, during which Christensen reportedly caught the eye of Pep Guardiola, he returned to Chelsea and lived up to Terry's billing for much of the 2017/18 campaign.

Used in the middle of Antonio Conte's back three, Christensen's ball-playing ability shone through and Chelsea appeared to have a defender they could build around for years to come.

However, Conte's departure harmed Christensen. His successor Maurizio Sarri favoured a back four, as did Frank Lampard; it's not a system that brings out the best of the Dane.

Tuchel's rather hasty rebrand of the Blues' shape following his appointment last month certainly opened a door for Christensen, even if he was omitted from the German's first match-day squad.

And, via a Thiago Silva injury, he has burst through it.

Christensen replaced the Brazilian midway through the first half of Chelsea's game at Tottenham Hotspur on February 4 and has featured in four of the Blues' five matches since.

Impressively, no opposition player has scored against Chelsea this month with Christensen in the heart

He has been calm, composed, and unafraid of the differing physical challenges presented by the likes of Oli McBurnie and Luis Suarez.

This return to form is timely for Christensen but also for Chelsea. The defender's contract expires at the end of next season and there have not been talks to extend his deal as yet.

Things might not change on that front: a decision may already have been made by the Blues that this summer is the right time for the 24-year-old to move on.

However, what Tuchel has done, admittedly my luck more than design, is inflate the fee Chelsea will be able to demand in the summer for Christensen.

In that respect, he's been as good as his word once again.

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