Chelsea have lost their lead at the top of the Premier League table and missed out on top spot in their Champions League group after losing a number of midfielders
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has responded to suggestions the club could dip into the transfer market in January, with recent midfield issues threatening to derail the Blues’ title charge.
N’Golo Kante has been out since November 23, with Mateo Kovacic last playing in late October after his own absence was extended thanks to a positive Covid test.
Ben Chilwell is also a long-term injury victim, with the defender having suffered a knee injury in the Blues’ European victory over Juventus, but Tuchel has insisted there are no immediate plans to reinvest in the squad despite the London side shipping eight goals in their last three games.
Indeed, the manager was able to offer some good news about the squad as they prepare to play host to Everton in the Premier League on Thursday.
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“We are not in talks right now that we bring in players,” Tuchel said, revealing Kante and Trevoh Chalobah are both in contention to return on Thursday.
“N’Golo will be back on the bench tomorrow, he did the last two training sessions.
“Trevoh Chalobah will also be back in the squad, he did the last two training sessions as well. So it’s Mateo Kovacic and Ben Chilwell out at the moment.”
The manager said he trusts his current squad both in terms of what they can deliver on the pitch and what they offer beyond it, saying “we have a strong squad and a good atmosphere to protect”.
While Kante is fit enough to take his place on the bench, Tuchel acknowledged the Frenchman might not immediately be able to show his best form.
“It is then one thing to have N’Golo back on the bench and to have Mateo back at the end of the week,” the manager said.
“Whether it is really N’Golo or Mateo at their best, I doubt it. It will take a while, but it will be a good day for us when both of them are back.”
With Chelsea looking light in midfield, there had been suggestions the club might be able to recall Conor Gallagher after the youngster’s impressive loan spell at Crystal Palace.
The 21-year-old has scored six Premier League goals for the Eagles, having netted twice on loan at West Bromwich Albion last season, but Tuchel maintained he feels the Blues made the right call sending him out on loan.
“There’s absolutely no regret because maybe it seems like it was the perfect decision for him and we discussed mainly for him what the best option was in the summer,” Tuchel said.
“You cannot take the circumstances from now about the decision from July, it simply is not possible.
“We did what we did and we are very happy with it, because obviously it works out for Conor.
“We need to work our issues out, which is that we are a bit unlucky in injuries in the centre, and we’re suffering from it. But this has nothing to do with Conor.”