Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has heaped praise on Lewis Hall following the youngster’s impressive debut in the FA Cup win over Chesterfield.
FA Cup finalists in four of the last five seasons, the Blues cruised through to the fourth round following a commanding 5-1 victory over their National League opponents.
Hall, who has been with Chelsea since the age of six, produced an assured display as he played the full 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge.
The 17-year-old demonstrated wonderful persistence before crossing for Romelu Lukaku to score the Blues’ third goal, while his shot was parried straight to Andreas Christensen, who headed in the hosts’ fourth.
And Tuchel insists the teenager proved he was deserving of his opportunity.
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When asked why he selected Hall, the head coach said: “It was his performance and attitude in training; the attitude he showed in our possession games and small-sided games.
“He deserved to play; he is a nice guy and very calm. [It was] a huge opportunity at Stamford Bridge. He took his chance and was hugely involved in some of the goals. [I am] happy for him.
“It’s clear what we demand from the players in this position. We have a very supportive dressing room and this is very good for the young boys. They have to step up and show what they are capable of, and they did again.
“I am happy with the attitude with how we started. We started strong and well. We decided the match very early and this is what we wanted.”
Having appeared on the bench several times this season, Hall revelled in his chance to shine in front of the Stamford Bridge faithful.
“Ever since I was a kid being at Chelsea, this is what I worked towards,” the youngster told BBC Sport.
“I saw my name on the teamsheet and I was shaking. It took a few hours to process it.
“To finally get the opportunity – and in front of my family and the amazing fans – it is an incredible feeling.”