Chelsea ‘did everything’ to keep Livramento, says Tuchel

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel admits it was tough to see Tino Livramento leave Stamford Bridge for Southampton but insists the club pulled out all the stops to try and keep him.

Livramento rejected a new contract with the Blues in order to move to the Saints in the summer and will face his former club for the first time on Saturday at Stamford Bridge having enjoyed an excellent start to the season.

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The 18-year-old, who was named Chelsea’s academy player of the year for 2020/21, was named on the bench for the Blues’ final two matches of last season but decided he needed to leave in order to play Premier League football – despite having not made a single first-team appearance at any level as a professional.

Southampton won the race for his signature and such was Chelsea’s disappointment at losing a player that had been on their books since he was seven, they insisted on a buy-back clause and a sell-on fee being inserted into the agreement before allowing him to move to St Mary’s for £5m.

“We did everything to keep him here, to show him his future and his possibilities to compete for a position in our team,’ Tuchel said.

“He decided to go, that was his decision and you sometimes have to accept it.

“There are not hard feelings because we can show him possibilities and then it is on the player.

“He was of course competing with Reece James and Cesar Azpilicueta on the right wing-back position and I think it was an ideal position for him to fight because the group wasn’t too big.

“There was a big chance for him to make it all the way but he decided to go and it’s fair enough, we wish him all the best.

“We saw the potential, but he decided to go another way and fight for a place at Southampton.”

Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl said he has been delighted with the impact Livramento has made in his side, who despite taking points of both Manchester City and United are still seeking their first Premier League win of the season.

“Tino has had a very good start, for us,” Hasenhuttl said.

“I think they knew that he was a good player, this is shown in the contract he accepted.

“He has spent a long time at Chelsea and developed through a lot of youth teams but it’s tough for very young lads to make a step in a Champions League winner. It’s nearly impossible.

“But he’s showed immediately, when coming here, what a good player he is for us and hopefully he keeps on showing.”