Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has one easy solution to overcome a major problem ahead of Juventus

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Over the last 12 months Mason Mount has been the beating rhythm of a Chelsea side that went all the way in the Champions League and shown impressive form under the tutelage of Thomas Tuchel.

He’s not always the flashiest and doesn’t even receive plaudits from some outsiders but has a unique ability and passion to link everything up.

Of course it’s difficult to calculate the impact he could actually have had against Pep Guardiola’s team, they put in a pretty complete performance but there was no doubt Chelsea were missing something.

“It is a minor injury but still it is a disappointment for him and us because he is a player that we count on,” said Tuchel in his press conference before the game.

It is the same, no matter how much we rely on him, the task is to find solutions without him and bring him back as soon as possible.”

Would Mount have played as part of the midfield three on Saturday, or would Chelsea have opted for a more familiar formation where the 22-year-old could take his usual home.

Either way, it did not feel like Tuchel found the correct way to overcome Mount’s absence.

In the victory over Spurs it was the academy product that needed to be sacrificed, to ignite Chelsea’s display, when he was replaced by N’Golo Kante at half time.

Tuchel said after the game: “It was a hard decision for Mason and it seemed to be a bit more defensive to go from Mason to N’Golo. But I wanted to give the sign from the talk (at half-time) I was not happy with the energy.

For me it was about winning the second balls, about duels, about sending signals to let the confidence grow through energy and ball wins, by a higher work rate and by closing players down and not being too reactive.”

Against City, the Blues were missing shots on goal, movement out the centre of the pitch and a connection to Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku.

The introductions of Kai Havertz and Ruben Loftus-Cheek elicited some of these qualities, with the latter’s driving runs showing an immediate difference, but neither yet command the authority Mount does in Chelsea’s XI.

The former Derby loanee’s versatility in the side would mean his presence would have been likely in either of Tuchel’s systems and Chelsea may have been able to balance their success between Mount and Kante rather than only having one or the other on the pitch.

Mount lies behind only Lukaku in the shots he produces per game and a superior pass completion (90.8%) compared to his colleagues Havertz (83.3%), Ziyech (63.0%) and Timo Werner (71.4%). Only players who have played 90 minutes or less for the Blues this season have been more accurate.

Would he have maintained the numbers against City’s press? Maybe not but it’s a quality that wouldn’t have gone amiss when chances to attack were few and far between.

Antonio Rudiger was less convinced that Mount’s absence had an impact.

The German said: “For us it’s a team effort, it’s not about the individuals, and we have enough good players to replace anyone. No-one is irreplaceable so that’s why I think that doesn’t play any factor.

Analysing and saying it was about tactics, it’s just not true. I think it’s just that we did not perform at our high level that we usually do and we got punished for this. We just had a bad day at the office.”

Some of what the 28-year-old says may be true but at the highest echelons of the game, marginal moments make big differences. The Blues only lost 1-0 and it may have taken only one connection between midfield and attack to level the scores.

Regardless of his doubters, Mount is a crucial cog for Chelsea and his presence will be missed when he’s injured. As Tuchel said, Chelsea need to find a new solution for when he isn’t available.

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