Chelsea: Thomas Tuchel explains Armando Broja’s early exit from pre-season tour amid West Ham transfer bid

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 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Chelsea striker Armando Broja has returned to London to receive treatment on an ankle injury amid West Ham’s bid to sign the young Albanian.

Standard Sport reported on Monday afternoon that the player had asked to leave Chelsea as he neared an agreement over personal terms with the Hammers.

Broja’s departure from the Blues’ pre-season tour of the United States heightened the links but Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that a training injury was behind his exit from the camp.

He told reporters: “Armando had to travel home. He had a little accident in training. He twisted his ankle and he needs further examinations and treatment in London.

“It did not make sense to just have him as an additional player because we need all capacities of treatment for the guys who are actually fit and on the pitch so the best way for him to get the best treatment and as soon as possible back on the pitch was to leave for London.”

Tuchel has also taken the decision to send Billy Gilmour, Harvey Vale and Tino Anjorin to the Chelsea Under-23s pre-season camp, also in the US, to focus on preparing his first-team squad for the new campaign.

The German noted: “It is never easy and I didn’t like to do it because everyone deserves to stay with the squad, but we had a very big squad already and then players came additionally on top.

“Some players like [Mateo] Kovacic are not fit again to train with the group so we cut it down and sent some young players to the reserve team who are also in America.

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“It's a very difficult decision because nobody deserved to go. I would have loved to have had everybody here because Tino, Harvey and Billy had trained at a very high level and it would also have been nice to see them in some matches.

“But in the end we had to take the decision to keep the quality high in training so we decided for 24 players as a maximum and that’s why we went a bit smaller.”

Gilmour could now leave Chelsea permanently this summer, with the other two in talks with various Championship clubs over loan moves.

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