Gallagher, Mount and Chilwell: Key Chelsea talking points from Club America friendly

Gallagher, Mount and Chilwell: Key Chelsea talking points from Club America friendly

New signings Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly have been left out as they remain behind their new teammates for fitness after their recent arrivals.

Still, there were plenty of talking points in the United States. Conor Gallagher, Ethan Ampadu, Michy Batshuayi and Kennedy were there to impress Thomas Tuchel after spending time on loan.

Chelsea played two different XIs, in the first and second half, but there was enough to draw intrigue as word got a chance to shine.

Here are five takeaways from the game…

Conor Gallagher in midfield as number six

With N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek unavailable due to their vaccination status and Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho simply left out – Gallagher had his chance.

Not quite the role he played for Crystal Palace but the player did well in the opener.

He brought his energetic style of play, creativity and ball-playing skills back to the club that brought him to the scene.

Most impressive was a chance created after an impressive interception and a difficult pass. Unfortunately, Kai Havertz couldn’t convert.

However, his tenacity earned him a yellow card in the 36th minute. Tuchel has already decided to keep him at the club next season in a prominent first-team role.

Chelsea F.C. via Getty Images

Mason Mount can’t help but take responsibility

With Michy Batshuayi missing chances in front of him, Mason Mount provided the moment of the game despite playing out of position. He sat a defender with a fake shot, moved the ball around then smashed it into the goal from 25 yards out.

Chelsea fans and neutrals alike were on their feet after watching an emerging superstar deliver such a special moment in the showpiece friendly.

Unfortunately, the stadium graphic would miss his name and call him Mason Hunt on the big screen at the home of the Las Vegas Raiders.

Getty Images

Callum Hudson-Odoi must impress

Is it Hudson-Odoi time? We’ve been asking this question for years after he burst onto the scene as a 17-year-old boy prodigy.

If now is not the time for the 21-year-old, he may have to move on. His body is fair after taking only a week off during the summer, thinking about his potential this season.

He is believed to have fully recovered from an Achilles problem which plagued him last season. Under the lights of one of the most impressive stadiums in the United States, he made some neat touches

We still need him before he realizes this incredible potential.

Who should we blame for the own goal?

Reece James and Marcus Bettinelli will point fingers. While it might be easier to blame a third-choice goalkeeper on Bettinelli, it was probably more James’ fault for passing through blindly and firmly in the first place.

Perhaps a better keeper could have saved the emerging England star, but sadly not the former Fulham shot-stopper.

Chelsea F.C. via Getty Images

Ben Chilwell has returned from injury

After a solemn appearance at the end of last season against Watford, it really felt like Ben Chilwell was back tonight. He got 45 minutes like all his peers in the Nevada desert.

He struggled against Jurgen Damm, who is one of the hottest players in Club America. However, that’s why pre-season is important, especially for players who have been injured.

Chilwell needs a little more time to find his true level.

Chelsea F.C. via Getty Images

Kenedy, Ampadu and Emerson push for places next season

Several former loanees want bigger roles next season as Chelsea’s new owners Clearlake-Boehly start spending big.

It’s hard for anyone to break into a team that is already trying to win trophies next season.

However, Kenedy, Ampadu and Emerson all gave strong performances, outperforming several more established stars. It will take more than 4 minutes of display to get in but it’s a good start.

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