Connor Gallagher, Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell: Chelsea key talking points from Club America friendly

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·3-min read
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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Chelsea ran out 2-1 winners over Club America in a pre-season friendly in Las Vegas thanks to Mason Mount’s fine winner.

New signings Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly were left out as they remain behind their new team mates for fitness following their recent arrivals.

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

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

Here are five takeaways from the match...

Conor Gallagher in midfield as a number six

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

Not quite the role that he played for Crystal Palace but the midfielder played well in the opening match.

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

Most impressively was a chance created after an impressive interception and difficult pass. Unfortunately, Kai Havertz was unable to convert.

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

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Mason Mount can’t help taking responsibility

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

Both Chelsea supporters and neutrals were up on their feet after seeing an emerging superstar deliver such a special moment in the showpiece friendly.

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

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Callum Hudson-Odoi needs to impress

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

If now isn’t the time for the 21-year-old then maybe he will have to move on. His body is right after he took only a week off on holiday over the summer, with realising his potential this season in mind.

He is thought to have fully recovered from a niggling Achilles problem that disrupted him last season. Under the lights in one of the US’s most impressive stadia, he delivered some tidy touches

We still need more from him before he realises that incredible potential.

Who should we blame for the own goal?

Reece James and Marcus Bettinelli will point the finger at each other. Although it might be easier to blame a third-choice goalkeeper in Bettinelli, it was probably more James’s fault for passing back blind and firmly in the first place.

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

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Ben Chilwell made his comeback from injury

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

He did struggle against Jurgen Damm, who is one of Club America’s most prominent players. However, this is why pre-season is important, especially for players who have been injured.

Chilwell needs a bit more time to rediscover his true level.

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Kenedy, Ampadu and Emerson push for spots next season

Several former loanees want more prominent roles next season as Chelsea’s new Clearlake-Boehly owners begin to spend big.

It’s a tough ask for anyone to break into a team that’s attempting to win trophies already next season.

However, Kenedy, Ampadu and Emerson all gave good performances, outperforming several more established stars. It will take more than 4-minute displays to get in but it is a good start.

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