Mario Melchiot insists Chelsea can finish in the Premier League top four this season now Thomas Tuchel has taken charge.
The German coach extended his unbeaten start as Blues boss to three games thanks to a 1-0 win over Tottenham on Thursday evening.
Asked if Chelsea can secure Champions League football for the 2021/22 season, former Blues defender Melchiot told Friday’s talkSPORT Breakfast: “Oh yeah, by far they can get that.
“This is only the first test he [Tuchel] had, so we have to realistic. Do they have the chance? Yeah.
“I always felt Chelsea had to aim for the Champions League spots and go for it. The only thing now is how are they going to perform in the next game. This was his first biggest test.
“If you saw Tuchel [against Tottenham], it was the first time he emotionally reacted in a different way than when we saw before.
“He knows there is no waiting time. The way he delivered the team to make them win, this win was way bigger than we thought it would be for him.”
Since replacing Frank Lampard in the Stamford Bridge dugout last week, as well as getting Chelsea back on track Tuchel has also revived Marcos Alonso’s Chelsea career.
The Spain left-back marked his first Blues appearance since last September with a goal in a 2-0 win over Burnley last weekend, before putting in another impressive showing against Tottenham.
Alonso has benefitted from Tuchel’s switch to a 3-4-3 formation at the expense of Ben Chilwell, who has had to settle with a place on the bench.
And Melchiot has been impressed by Alonso’s new-found form.
He added: “One manager wants you for a particular system so it was more like a 4-3-3, but now the system has changed and made it really questionable for Chilwell.
“It doesn’t mean he’s not a good player; I always admired him because I like him as a player, but Alonso knows this way of playing.
“Alonso has grabbed the opportunity, scored a goal, made a difference in the team and looks really comfortable. He looks very good compared to a player that hasn’t played for so long. Look how fit he is and how he is playing.
“He looks comfortable on the ball. We all know he’s good, he does his job and that is why he’s playing.”