Chelsea star Ben Chilwell criticises 'leadership' after Pochettino's touchline tantrum


Chelsea left-back Ben Chilwell has called for greater 'leadership' in the squad after Saturday's win over Fulham. Conor Gallagher captained the side at the age of just 23 against the Cottagers, as he has done many times this season, and Mauricio Pochettino was seen berating the midfielder during the narrow 1-0 victory.

On average, Chelsea have fielded the youngest starting XIs of every Premier League club this season. Co-owner Todd Boehly has overseen a unique transfer policy of only signing prospects under the age of 25, and bringing them in en masse.

The result has been a struggle to keep up with the division's seasoned heavyweights as Pochettino attempts to catapult his side clear of mid-table. The 1-0 victory over Fulham, with Cole Palmer scoring the winner from the spot, was an important step in the right direction.

But Chilwell, who made his return from a three-month injury lay-off towards the end of the match, has suggested that the side could still benefit from hardened leaders.

"We're a very young team," he told TNT Sports after the final whistle. "We just need a bit more leadership. Personally I want to take on that role and help the team out in that respect. Energy, getting forward when I can while defensively being solid. It's a very talented squad so we're going to get there, hopefully we can flick the switch soon."

A call for greater leadership may not go down well with Gallagher, who has worn the captain's armband this season in the absence of Chilwell and Reece James. The stand-in skipper found himself on the wrong end of a Pochettino pelting during Saturday's Premier League contest.

"I am looking not only in the present but for the future," he explained. "It was a good situation because Reece is ready to be captain. When the player is clever like Thiago, who is [39], do you think he is thinking about needing the armband? He is a captain as well like Reece and Chilwell.

"You don’t need the armband on to feel like a captain. He is a captain also and will help Chilwell and Reece. He will be a great captain for the club."

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