Thomas Tuchel says that Tammy Abraham is more concerned about being left out by Chelsea than with his omission from Gareth Southgate's England squad ahead of the international break.
The Three Lions boss cited a lack of starts as the reason for leaving him out of his latest squad which includes Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins instead. The upcoming international break is even more important as the last one before the upcoming European Championships, which were pushed back a year.
Abraham has found his progress stall under Tuchel through both an ankle injury and his non-selection when he has been fit.
What he said?
"We have not talked about [England]," Tuchel told reporters. "I actually feel him right now a bit more concerned about his role in our team because I think that he clearly knows a role in our team can improve his chances to have a role in the English national team.
"We did not talk about it but it would not surprise me if it’s in his head. This is totally normal at this level that the players have their own interests, and one of the interests is to have a role in their team but also their country.
"These are two objectives for Tammy, but in our talks now, it’s just about the next steps here, how to increase his involvement here. But, at the same time, when you give confidence to strikers who are actually on the pitch, we cannot change all the time so it’s not easy.
"I accept that it’s not too easy, but it’s also not too hard, and I hope he is not too harsh on himself or overthinks it like, ‘If my situation is like this now what are the consequences?’ He has to refocus on his situation and this is what I feel.
"We have talked about the actual situation here in the club and from here, he has, every day, the chance to find his way back.
“It’s been hard for him because he’s never felt fully free, never felt fully painless after this tackle (a challenge from Newcastle defender Jamaal Lascelles that left Abraham injured) so it was hard for him to really perform on the level that you need to perform in training to convince your coach to leave somebody else out."
How are Chelsea's players shaping up for the Euros?
Germany were granted permission to have Timo Werner, Antonio Rudiger and Kai Havertz attend their international fixtures during the March break. It is a boost for those fighting for their spots in Joachim Low's side, particularly Havertz, who finds several options gunning for his spot.
However, similar to Abraham at England, Kepa Arrizabalaga has found himself out of Spain's squad. Having hoped to make Scotland's squad this summer, Billy Gilmour has been left out again by Steve Clarke.
Asked whether Gilmour should regret not being sent out on loan, Tuchel said it was never an option for the midfielder.
"It’s absolutely no mistake. It was, unfortunately, not his choice. It was my choice," Tuchel added. "The choice was made for Chelsea and not for the personal goals of Billy. He accepted it in a five-minute talk; he had no problem with it.
"I actually hope he knows how much I appreciate him as a person and as a footballer. He has three big problems – N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho are three big problems. They are never injured and they perform on a level in central midfield that is not easy to compete with. This is the only thing.
"I have no trust issue with him. I have no problem with attitude. I can only strongly recommend the Scottish national team to nominate him because this guy trains on the highest level. They should not be worried about his ability to compete.
"Still we take the decisions for Chelsea and the squad is by far not too big. I feel Billy is a strong part of the squad. I know it is hard for him and we talk now several times because sometimes he does not make it to the 18 because we play with two central midfielders and I already have one of the three guys I mentioned on the bench.
"I go for other options to cover other possibilities during a match but it does not mean like when you are out of the squad like Billy that you first have to find your way back to the bench, then you have to find your way back for five minutes, then you can start.
"You can start right away from the next game. It can happen when you train in a positive attitude like Billy and with the quality he shows. This is the situation. Nothing has changed. I am super happy he is here. We need a strong four midfielders."