Fulham’s on-loan defender Kalas: If Andreas Christensen can make it at Chelsea, then so can I
Tomáš Kalas. Photo by Paul Lagan
Chelsea’s Tomáš Kalas hopes that he can follow in the bootlaces of Andreas Christensen and finally forge a playing career at Stamford Bridge after eight years at the club.
The loanee at Fulham defender, 25, has made only two starts for the Blues in that time.
He was a £5million singing from Czech club Sigma Olomouc in 2010 and has had series of loan deals subsequently. He helped the Blues’ west London neighbours Fulham into the Premier League at the weekend when they beat Aston Villa 1-0 at Wembley in the Championship Play-off final.
He said: “I haven’t spoken to Chelsea about what will happen next. It is in my contract. They are going to talk. Obviously Fulham has to offer something if they want me.
“I don't really know what will happen next season. If it’s at a Premier League side, it doesn’t really matter which one.
Chelsea or Fulham would be the best option. Currently I don't have any other options.
“I can easily say that I will try to get into the Premier League if the offer comes.”
Breaking into the star-studded and expensive Chelsea outfit is a tall order for anyone, but Kalas, while not over confident by nature, is hopeful that he can follow the path taken by Danish defender Andreas Christensen.
He said: “Andreas Christensen has made it and he played many games.
“Obviously there were a few mistakes but overall he took the chance well, and deserves to be there. So if he can do it, I believe that I can do it as well.
“In pre-seasons in the past I don’t think I was the worst player on the pitch. One season I was there I played two games. That’s not enough from what I was expecting, what I was told I would get. So if it comes and with the way they are playing, hopefully I would fit in. But on the other side, it hasn't worked for the past eight years, is it time to change, maybe yes, maybe not? If we work it out, with some different club, then maybe that’s the option. I can’t say much now.”
Kalas got onto the Wembley turf as a substitute to help steer the Whites into the top flight after a four-year absence and has played almost 70 games. He is confident that he can step up a gear.
“I want to play in the Premier League,” he said. “I don't know if I will.
“It’s difficult to know how it will work. This is another step towards the highest level. It doesn’t matter which club, but if its Fulham where I played the last two seasons that will be better.
“I don't want to be overconfident. But I can rate myself as a quite experienced Championship player. The next step is to try the Premier League. If I’m not ready now to try, then I don’t know if I ever will be.”
Kalas has every reason to feel aggrieved he has not had the chances to prove his footballing credentials to Chelsea - but he is very level-headed about the experience.
“I was promised slightly more games than I got,” he revealed. “But all I could do was train properly and when the chance came, take it. Both games we won. We conceded an unlucky goal against Cardiff, so it could have been two clean sheets, so I don’t know what I could have done more.”
Kalas who played 30 times for Fulham this term has one eye on the crisis affecting Chelsea at the moment where confusion seems to reign over the future of head coach Antonio Conte - does he worry that that turbulence might affect his future?
He said: “I don't really know, that’s not in my hands, It is not depending on me when they start talking about my future.
“Obviously they have got bit more serious problems actually right now. But hopefully when it’s sorted we will know what’s going on. But they may surprise me and just make it easy and say a definite answer or decision. As long as they are my employers then I have to listen to them, but they have listened to me in the past and I’m grateful. So me and my agent and Chelsea will find a way that works best for all of us.
“I don’t want to make any mistake in an interview. If I say I see myself away from Chelsea, then they would not like me in Chelsea. If I said yes, that I will stay, there, then everyone would say I’m not ready - just because I have got promoted, does not mean I am ready to play fo Chelsea.”
Chelsea have kept an eye on Kalas and their other loan player at Fulham, Lucas Piazon and that’s something Kalas appreciates.
“Chelsea watch me during the season - we have a WhatsApp group, we are always in touch,” he said.
“If someone needs something, they get the help. Sometimes they visit us at the training ground, we stay in touch.
“They know that we are professionals, they just try to help us, not teach us. We are adults, we know what we are supposed to do. They try to help us with analysis.”
Kalas now has the title of Chelsea’s longest serving player following the exit of goalkeeper Matej Delač - is that something he is proud of?
“Being employed by Chelsea for eight years is not a bad record,” he said. “Even though I played just two games for them. But at the end I’m taking it positively. They brought me into big football, and helped me to develop. Even though it might sound horrific by sending me on loans. It was always loans that I wanted or agreed to. They were always listening to me. What I wanted as well. And we always found a way. That is why I believe the same thing will happen now.”