Tuchel's damning assessment of Chelsea's draw at Zenit
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More injuries to Chelsea’s midfield contingent has left the engine room at Stamford Bridge threadbare as the club approaches the hectic January transfer window schedule. But Marina Granovskaia has reportedly decided against the easy option of recalling players currently out on loan.
Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were all ruled out of the midweek clash against Zenit on Tuesday.
The Italian was ruled out with back pain; Loftus-Cheek was injured in the warm-up in Russia and Kovacic hadn’t travelled after contracting Covid-19.
Alongside the absence of N’Golo Kante and the poor form of loanee Saul Niguez, Tuchel has a real selection headache at Stamford Bridge as he is down to the bare bones of his midfield contingent.
Mason Mount, Ross Barkley and Kai Havertz are the only natural midfield options for the foreseeable future.
And with multiple midfield options out on loan, the easy transfer fix for transfer chief Granovskaia would be to recall one of them.
However, with Conor Gallagher starring on loan at Crystal Palace, the club aren’t expected to end his temporary stay in south London, Football London claim.
The midfielder spent last season on loan at West Brom, and was shipped out to Palace to continue his needs for first-team football.
Having scored four goals along with three assists so far at Selhurst Park, his form has warranted an England call up, making his international debut in England’s 10-0 win over San Marino.
But the club will not risk bringing him back from his successful loan spell under Patrick Vieira – with comments from Tuchel back in November supporting those claims.
“Actually I haven’t thought about it,” Tuchel said in mid-November.
“I think it is important for him to be happy where he is and not change things. It is important to be calm, I feel him happy there and that he is having this impact at Crystal Palace.
“It is too early to talk about that in public before we talk with Conor himself and what his goals are.
“This will happen in the summer as we all agreed to the decision that we wanted to send him to Palace.
“He saw a possibility for him. I am not surprised the national coach loves him because I loved him from day one. Humble, nice, smile on his face and all the time ready to give everything, want to learn and improve.”
The Blues face Leeds on Saturday in bid to return to the top of the Premier League.
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