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Rafael Leao fails Chelsea transfer audition but big Reece Ja

Rafael Leao fails Chelsea transfer audition but big Reece Ja

Rafael Leao failed to show his full potential in either of AC Milans Champions League defeats to Chelsea over the past week but some perspective is needed on the situation

Rafael Leao failed to show his full potential over two matches versus Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League

(Image: Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)

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When Chelsea were drawn against AC Milan in Group E of the UEFA Champions League, there were a few obvious talking points from the start.

The return to Stamford Bridge for Fikayo Tomori and Olivier Giroud. The return to San Siro for Thiago Silva and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. A possible chance to check in on loanee Tiemoue Bakayoko, whos not been selected in the Champions League squad. And last but not least, how would Rafael Leao fare against a club with along-term interest in him?

I am really surprised in a positive way by what he has done. He makes a difference in attack with goals and assists,Chelsea head coach Graham Potter said on Leaobefore the match at Stamford Bridge last Wednesday. Congratulations, he is a top player.

READ MORE:Graham Potters shock Chelsea change from Thomas Tuchel vs Milan as Denis Zakaria question asked

Then what he will be in the future, I dont know, but he is playing really well with Milan. He has the skills and the talent of being able to play well in the Premier League.

Its something Chelsea supporters were very pleased to hear from their newly-appointed head coach. It was clear the club were big admirers of Leao, but to get the backing from the new manager was music to the ears of those who enjoy watching the Milan attacker.

Leao showed glimpses of what he is capable of in the first match against Chelsea last week but was kept quiet by the combination of the superb Reece James, Wesley Fofana, and Trevoh Chalobah, who was brought on in the first-half.Leao admitted after last weeks matchin west London just how tough an opponent James is.

James is a good player. He was all over me and everywhere at the same time. He timed his runs very fine, Leao said . I hardly talk about opposing players, but this guy is actually the toughest I have faced, I think. He scored a goal, too, against us, and thats something you dont get from every defender.

Chalobah, who came on for theinjured Fofanain last weeks match, also played a big part in limiting Leaos chances. The Chelsea defender was called upon again in Tuesday nights 2-0 win at the San Siro and did a fine job in restricting the Portuguese attacker to very little. The only time Leao really got the better of Chalobah was in the first-half when he took it past the defender, but he made a fine recovery to put the ball out for a Milan corner.

Between them, James and Chalobah did the perfect job of eliminating the threat of one of European footballs finest attacking talents on Tuesday. It wasnt ideal for Leao, who would have been keen to impress for a multitude of reasons, but Chelseas long-term interest in the 23-year-old wont fade away off the back of two performances where a big perspective is required.

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