Tuchel rules defender out with Covid-19, discusses his plans for Kenedy and looking into the transfer market

Andreas Christensen will miss tomorrow’s trip to Manchester City after testing positive for Covid-19 following our midweek victory at Tottenham in the Carabao Cup semi-finals.

The Dane will now begin a period of self-isolation as per UK Government protocols and will join fellow centre-back Trevoh Chalobah on the absence list, along with wing-backs Reece James and Ben Chilwell.

However, one new option available to the Chelsea boss is Brazilian wideman Kenedy, who has been recalled from Flamengo in his homeland and will train later this afternoon before the team travel to Manchester ahead of the Saturday lunchtime kick-off in the Premier League.

Tuchel provided the latest update on the condition of his squad at his customary pre-match media conference, which continues to be held via video link from Cobham.

‘There is no injury news, which is maybe good news,’ he stated.

‘Trevoh Chalobah is out, Ben Chilwell is out, Reece James is out and we have one positive Covid test with Andreas Christensen so he is also out for the game.’

The Blues head coach also revealed his plans for Kenedy following the 25-year-old’s return as cover for the long-term absence of Chilwell, indicating that he could have a part to play in the second half of the season.

‘We cannot say Kenedy is the solution but he can be a solution,’ he continued. ‘He is back and I’m very happy about that.

‘It is a huge opportunity for him to make his mark at this club and in this team. We will try now from today on to push and support him as good as we can.’

However, Tuchel admitted it was not always so easy to bring players back from loan to solve short-term problems.

‘It’s not only about the need to bring players back but also about the possibility,’ he added. ‘We sent them on loan to have a full season and they have a certain role in their clubs so we don’t decide all alone if we bring players back.’

In terms of further activity in the transfer window this month, the boss revealed that the club would keep monitoring the market but claimed there were no plans for Ruben Loftus-Cheek to be sent out on loan.

‘We haven’t talked about it,’ he said. ‘He has a lot of game time I would say if you look at the last years and you look at this season. He has a lot to fight for here when you talk about Ruben and my personal opinion.’

‘The situation has not changed,’ he added about transfer plans. ‘We have long-term injuries with the wing-backs and we suffered a lot in midfield from Covid and injuries. Now that our midfielders are more or less coming back, we suffer a lot with our central defenders.

‘It needs to be possible and it needs to make sense with quality and personality. We have a look into the market and we have all options, including the option to say no.’

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