Erin Cuthbert has admitted that not being at Euro 2022 has aided her Chelsea performances during the 2022/23 campaign because the increased one-on-one time afforded to her in pre-season helped her adjust to her new position.
Four Chelsea players were part of England’s European Championship winning squad this summer, but Cuthbert’s Scotland failed to qualify for the tournament.
Having been deployed all over the pitch since moving to west London in 2017, the 24-year-old has exclusively played in a deep midfield role this term, and has been one of the Blues’ star performers. She capped an impressive display against Tottenham at Stamford Bridge on Sunday with a stunning solo goal, finding the top corner with a half volley from the edge of the area.
“Last December during the season, I was kinda thrown in there (central midfield), but I didn’t have a lot of time to work on it,” Cuthbert explained. “But this pre-season, the Euros happening for me, I had a lot of one-on-one time during pre-season to actually solidify and nail down the position and get to know the ins and outs of it.
“When we went on pre-season tour, it was really good. I think there are less people here, so you can have more one-on-one time and that’s really important.”
Cuthbert has featured in all eight of Chelsea’s WSL matches this season, predominantly playing as one of two sitting midfielders in a midfield trio alongside Sophie Ingle or Jessie Fleming.
The Scotland international – who put pen to paper on a new deal until 2025 this week – admitted she had been having conversations with Emma Hayes ever since joining the club about her desire to play in central midfield.
“I kept going into the office every six months since I joined the club wanting to [play] there. But I’ll play wherever I’m needed,” Cuthbert added
“Next year, next year, next year – I always got that answer. She (Hayes) tried to keep me happy. ‘Oh yeah I’ll see you in midfield eventually’ was always the answer but for me I’m really glad that time came and it was a big reason in my contract renewal; I wanted to be a midfielder.
“I know I’m best in midfield, you know as a player where you feel most comfortable, where you feel best, and I know that midfield is my home and I want to prove that to everybody.”