Thomas Tuchel has ruled three players out of our trip to Leeds and is waiting to see if another can feature at Elland Road.
The boss gave an injury update at his pre-match press conference at Cobham this afternoon, as well as providing the latest news in the transfer window with less than two weeks remaining until it closes.
The major concern hanging over Tuchel regards N’Golo Kante, who pulled up in the Tottenham game and left the pitch in some pain.
‘It’s quite serious,’ reported the boss.
‘We’re talking about weeks. It’s not good news. We are disappointed and sad because N’Golo was super important and super fit, and he will be out for several weeks.’
Tuchel then confirmed another duo would miss the game in Yorkshire.
‘Armando is out for some days. He cannot come with us to Leeds. Mateo Kovacic is still out with knee problems.
‘Christian Pulisic had Achilles problems but trained today. Let’s see.’
Turning the attention to the transfer market, Tuchel was asked by a journalist if he was frustrated with the lack of incomings in the past 10 days.
‘I’m the opposite of frustrated. I’m very happy and very confident after last week’s performance. We work together about the reinforcements but it’s never easy. You can’t just wish for something, and it will happen.
‘As long as the transfer window is open there are always possibilities. We know what we are trying and what we are doing, but the focus is on what we have, not what we could have, and this is the team. They get the full energy and full attention from us.’
Tuchel acknowledged there has been plenty of media rumours about players possibly leaving the club, but he was clear he does not want to weaken his squad.
‘We have had two training sessions with 18 players. In a schedule where we play once a week, it’s not a problem. If I put the chin up and look at the schedule that is coming, with Southampton during the week and then two Champions League matches, it’s in front of the door and we will need a lot of quality players to be competitive.
‘It’s one thing to compete once a week, another to compete 60 times a year and three times a week. For that you need a strong group, players who challenge for their minutes, and push each other to the highest level. It’s not only about tactics and team spirit, it’s about the challenge within the team and the depth of your squad.
‘We are still active in the market and we know what can be possible, but if not, we will make the best out of it. At the moment we have what we have, we know what we’re looking for and only from there can we think about letting players go.’
One player who has signed this morning is Cesare Casadei, a 19-year-old Italian midfielder. He will initially work with the development squad, and Tuchel outlined what the plan is for his future at Chelsea.
‘I met him yesterday here in the building. We will give him time now to learn the language, to learn what Chelsea is all about, to understand the culture, how we live here, how we train here on a daily basis.
‘Once he’s settled in we will give him opportunities to train with us and show his qualities. We will assess him, have a clearer picture of him and then we will see.’