After Mourinho complained about injuries and suspension ahead of the Champions League match against Atletico, his threat to play a weakened came in a singular form of a young Czech defender – Tomas Kalas [well, mostly]. Kalas – who had just 2 substitute appearances for Chelsea before the game at Anfield – made his full debut in a very difficult situation. Necessity meant he suddenly had the job of keeping the best striker in the league quiet. Kalas excelled in his task.
The young defender was solid beside Serbian, Branislav Ivanovic. He looked assured in every decision he made. He covered his area well and overall didn’t make anything easy for Luis Suarez. His fantastic performance has lead to many labeling him heir to current captain, John Terry.
Expressing his feelings after the match, he said he was composed because Mourinho gave him the news [inclusion in the starting eleven] just hours before the match.
Asked if he was nervous before the match; “No, and I must admit that surprised me,” he said
About the game generally he said: “Hopefully people couldn’t tell that it was my first game. Naturally, I learned where I need to improve and what I have to work on, but overall I had a good feeling.”
Who is Tomas Kalas?
Chelsea signed a 17-year-old Kalas in July 2010 for a fee thought to be around £5.2m. At the time he was playing for his hometown club, Sigma Olomouc back in Czech Republic. He remained at the club till he joined Chelsea in the second half of the 2010/2011 season. Since then he has spent two years on loan [between 2011 and 2013] at Dutch Club, Vitesse Arnhem – playing more than 50 times for the Dutch outfit.
At the start of this current season, Jose Mourinho said Kalas won’t be going on loan again like he did for the last two seasons. He made his first appearance for Chelsea in the Capital One Cup against Arsenal. The second appearance came in the 2-0 win against Galatasaray at Stamford Bridge.
He made his debut for Czech Republic back in 2012.
Kalas who is just over 6ft can become a very important [player for Chelsea in the future. The young defender plays similarly to John terry. His potential is amazing. He has the ability to play cleanly at the back and at the same time make it very hard for attackers [this was evident against Suarez].
What they Say about him:
Neil Bath, Chelsea Academy Manager saw his abilities when he first joined Chelsea: “He’s a very good one-on-one defender and comfortable on the ball. He’s a right-sided center-half who can play at right-back.”
On his signing from Sigma Olomouc: “We feel there is a lot of potential in the player and we feel at the minute it is the right time to get him, but it would be good for him to stay there and get first team experience.”
With the proper guidance, Tomas Kalas might just become the next John Terry.