Thomas Tuchel believes that Armando Broja will remain a Chelsea player this season as he also hopes to bring in a couple more faces before the end of the summer transfer window.
The Blues head coach was speaking at a press conference to preview our second friendly of the USA tour against Charlotte FC tomorrow and inevitably there were questions about the future of our young Albanian striker, who has returned to Cobham for treatment after suffering an injury in training last week.
Despite that setback, Tuchel believes that there is room in his squad for Broja this season and stated his intention to keep him at Stamford Bridge even though offers have been made to take him away.
‘I don’t expect him to leave,’ Tuchel stated. ‘We are aware of interest and offers, which just tells us there is a lot of potential, and the owners and me will take this decision together in the end, also with the player.
‘Right now when he arrived, it’s clear he’s trying to impress and is just trying to become a Chelsea player as soon as possible. After his loan at Southampton, the situation was very clear for him to make the next step, to show his improvement and make an impression in pre-season.
‘Unfortunately he injured himself and of course there is a lot of noise going on because there are offers and interest in him. Let’s see how this goes but I’m pretty calm about it because we know the situation and we have a contract.’
The German also updated on the other three players who departed camp after the Las Vegas leg of our trip and revealed that further conversations about their plans for the season would happen when we return home.
‘We know Tino Anjorin pretty well, we know Billy Gilmour pretty well, and Harvey Vale we know because he trained with us last season,’ he continued.
‘The decisions we took I didn’t like them because all of the players deserved to stay here, but also the players who stayed deserved to stay here because they are doing fantastic in training.
‘They are heavily involved and physically came totally fit. Ross [Barkley] was an example in every training session so far but got a little injured now which is a bit of a setback but these are the decisions to take.
‘With Tino Anjorin, we struggled to find a role where he should play for us but I’m a big fan of him and Harvey the same. We had a talk with them and they know I didn’t like to send them away but the group was simply too big to continue like this.
‘We had the chance to keep them in America and let them train and play with the Under-23s [in Salt Lake City] so this was the decision and I promised that once we are back in London we will have this talk and see what’s best for them.’
Tuchel is keen to add reinforcements in certain areas of his squad and believes that the sooner these can be done, the better as integration into the group will be key. For new arrivals Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly, the presence of familiar faces has already been important.
‘I have a figure and I think we need a couple more players in to improve the squad,’ he added. ‘We were third last season and there was a gap between us, Manchester City and Liverpool.
‘In general if you want to fight even for the same position you need to improve. You can never stand still because if you stand still then other teams will overtake you. Given the situation that we even lost players, it’s common sense for me that we need to bring new quality to the team to maintain our level.
‘It’s always the dream of every manager that you find players in the same league and who can adapt maybe quicker than other players but it’s also a very individual process. Of course we see that Raheem knows many players from the national team and he is very familiar with the habits of English clubs so this is very nice to see.
‘For Kalidou, it’s a big help that we have some French guys, that we have Edou [Mendy] his team-mate in the national team and of course Jorginho who is a big help from Napoli to make this process faster.
‘Both of them should be huge players for us and that’s why we need to speed things up.’