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Thomas Tuchel’s journey from Germany to Chelsea via PSG and why Roman Abramovich appointed him

The news that everyone had known since Monday morning was finally confirmed on Tuesday evening: Thomas Tuchel has replaced Frank Lampard as Chelsea’s head coach.

The German has signed an 18-month contract at Stamford Bridge with the club stating there is the “possibility” of an extension to that.

Tuchel arrived at Cobham this afternoon and held a meeting with the first-team group at 5pm. He oversaw his first training session as Chelsea boss soon after.

“I would like to thank Chelsea FC for their confidence in me and my staff,” Tuchel told the Chelsea website after the appointment was confirmed.

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“We all have the greatest respect for Frank Lampard’s work and the legacy he created at Chelsea. At the same time, I cannot wait to meet my new team and compete in the most exciting league in football.

“I am grateful to now be part of the Chelsea family – it feels amazing.”

Tuchel’s immediate remit at Chelsea is to get the Blues back into contention for the Champions League places. The Blues currently sit ninth in the Premier League, six points behind fourth-placed West Ham United.

The 47-year-old has the coaching nous to do so and the experience needed. He has put in the hard yards on route to Stamford Bridge, working his way up from coaching youth teams in Germany to guiding one of the world’s richest clubs to Champions League finals.

The first steps

Tuchel’s playing career was a world away from the glittering, trophy-laden one Lampard enjoyed. He never played higher than the German second tier and, after four years at SSV Ulm, was forced to retire at just 24 years old due to a knee cartilage injury.

He was soon working as a bartender while studying for an economics degree. By his own admission, life at that point wasn’t enjoyable. Tuchel completed his degree and tried to return to football. The influential Ralf Rangnick, who…

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