Thomas Tuchel warns Chelsea’s trophy hopes could be wrecked without January transfers after injury blows

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Thomas Tuchel warns Chelsea’s trophy hopes could be wrecked without January transfers after injury blows
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  • Chelsea
    Chelsea
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Thomas Tuchel
    German association football manager and former player

Thomas Tuchel has warned that Chelsea’s season could be wrecked if they do not spend in the January transfer window.

The German is prioritising cover for Ben Chilwell at left-back, but could also look for extra depth on the right after Reece James’ hamstring injury.

Chelsea are currently drawing up plans for this window, with Tuchel in discussion with chief Marina Granovskaia and technical director Petr Cech over potential targets.

With Chilwell ruled out for the season after anterior cruciate ligament surgery, they are working on an agreement with Lyon to bring Emerson Palmieri back from loan, while Everton’s Lucas Digne is also under consideration.

While the left of defence is a priority, Tuchel believes the loss of James until next month could prove hugely damaging to his hopes of winning major silverware in his first full season in charge at Stamford Bridge.

While the Premier League title now looks out of reach, following an alarming slump in December, Chelsea are still competing on all other fronts – including the Club World Cup.

Tuchel said: “If you are out for some weeks and you don’t know how fast the process is for coming back you can lose a lot of matches. If you have the wrong timing you can lose Club World Cup matches, you can lose Champions League matches, you can lose crucial Carabao Cup matches and league matches.

“It is like this and if you are out for four or five weeks you can lose 10 or 12 matches. It can be too much.”

Chelsea are currently in talks with Lyon over the possibility of bringing Emerson back, with Tuchel preferring to work with someone he knows will fit straight into his squad.

He said: “Of course we know him and we appreciate him as a player and a person. He had such a huge influence, although he didn’t have a lot of minutes last season.

Thomas Tuchel knows Chelsea need new signings this month to maintain their trophy push (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Thomas Tuchel knows Chelsea need new signings this month to maintain their trophy push (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

“He is a top guy, a top professional and he is still a Chelsea player. But it is not only what I wish for, we also need to evaluate the situation. We will look into it on this position, it is one of the options.”

Tuchel had not planned to ask for funds in January because he was happy with the depth of strength in his squad.

But the spike of Covid cases, which has now ruled out N’Golo Kante and Thiago Silva, as well as injuries to Chilwell and James, has prompted a rethink.

Chelsea have already had to cope with a host of injuries to key players, with Kante, Romelu Lukaku, Mateo Kovacic, Timo Werner, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz all spending extended spells out of action.

Now Tuchel he believes his squad is in need of strengthening midway through the campaign.

He said: “If you lose options, you lose options and you lose options not only in personnel, but in tactics and formation.

“We check our options and in the end it needs to make sense. It is not only pure numbers to bring in players. It needs to be a good mix of high quality, high-level attitude and character. Then it needs to be possible.

Reece James is facing weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury (AFP via Getty Images)
Reece James is facing weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury (AFP via Getty Images)

“It seems like everybody would love to have it. If we had a full squad I would love to answer this question and say we need nothing. But we have the issue and that’s why we look into it.

“We are discussing and we are in talks, of course, with the staff and the board and the scouting, checking the possibilities as we would always do.

“But given the fact that we have some long-term injuries we’re looking into the market, we’re looking into some possibilities, not in the very highest pressure.And things have to make sense for us personality-wise, position-wise and also in quality.

“So we have all options and we’ll check them out.”

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