As anticipated, N’Golo Kante was not part of final training the day prior to the second-leg semi-final decider against Eintracht Frankfurt but two of our young players who have just completed season-long loans were involved.
The start of Wednesday afternoon’s session was open to the media and took place shortly after the pre-Europa League match media conference. During that conference, which also took place at the training ground, Maurizio Sarri reported he expects Kante to miss the next two games with the hamstring injury the player picked up on Sunday, but hopes he could be back if we qualify for the final at the end of the month.
All the others who have been involved in the latter stages of our Europa League campaign did train at a damp Cobham, with the exception of long-term injured Toni Rudiger and Callum Hudson-Odoi. Increasing their numbers were Reece James and Trevoh Chalobah.
James has just completed an enormously successful season on a personal level at Wigan Athletic whom he helped to maintain their place in the Championship. He played 46 games for the Latics at right-back or in central midfield and won their Player of the Year, Players’ Player of the Year and Goal of the Season awards.
Chalobah was at Ipswich Town this season and although his side do drop out of the Championship having finished bottom of the table, for the 19-year-old it has been season of important development. Playing mostly in midfield he made 44 appearances in what was his first year in senior football.
Both are graduates of the Chelsea Academy and four members of this season’s development squad were also included in this afternoon’s training – striker Daishawn Redan, winger Juan Castillo, midfielder Billy Gilmour and defender Richard Nartey.