Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel spoke freely at his pre-UEFA Super Cup press conference earlier tonight.
With the Blues set to collide with La Liga team Villarreal in Belfast on Wednesday night at Windsor Park, the German tactician answered questions ranging from Chelsea’s nearly completed deal for Inter’s Romelu Lukaku, their pre-season preparations, the nature of your team, too. as general thoughts on the summer transfer window.
Nothing to add to Lukaku’s deal
When asked about the status of Chelsea’s impending move by Belgian international Romelu Lukaku, Thomas Tuchel had little to add;
“I am absolutely not in a position to announce anything, and maybe I will decline to talk about it, as we are on game day in mind.”
This hardly changes the landscape surrounding the nearly completed € 115m deal, as the Blues are expected to secure a prized center forward after interest in Borussia Dortmund. Erling haaland it amounted to nothing.
Tuchel’s take on the summer transfer window and Chelsea’s handling of their situation
When pressed further about summer transfers in the Premier League, Tuchel responded in … well … typical Tuchel fashion;
“Of course, other clubs signed heavily, which is their right. It is a great challenge to compete with them, but soccer is a team sport and we have a strong team. We are in discussions with the board, but it is not hectic or stressful. “
As for other active clubs on the market, Tuchel deviated and responded with a positive Chelsea lens;
We have a very clear structure in the club. Small port [Granovskaia], owner [Roman Abramovich], everyone has ideas. It is very quiet. We always try to improve but at the same time we believe in the development of our players. We have a lot of young players up front like Ziyech, Havertz, Werner in their second season and I’m sure the experience from last season will give them a great boost. “
Despite Lukaku’s focus, the notion that Tuchel seems quite willing to continue working with the aforementioned trio of Ziyech, Havertz and Werner despite their struggles throughout the 2020-21 campaign, both at home and in the foreigner, it certainly shouldn’t be a problem. surprise. At first glance, all three are incredibly capable footballers, and the combination of adjusting to life in the Premier League and being misused under Frank Lampard made things that much more difficult for the triumvirate.
Pre-season preparations and reflections on the situation of the Chelsea squad
Tuchel’s general thoughts on the preseason following his Champions League win and a summer spell with international competitions;
It is a very extended group on a physical level. It was a great challenge after a very special season with almost no break in between. It was very demanding and challenging, very happy to have the support of the physical department. We did the best we could, we have fantastic support and we got to an important match that is absolutely fine for us. The preparation has been very demanding ”.
Chelsea’s ranks were hit hard during the summer during Euro 2020, with seventeen first-team players traveling through Europe while representing their countries, including key figures N’Golo Kanté, Jorginho, Antonio Rüdiger, Andreas Christensen, Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell. .
But even though many players have had extended periods before a much-needed respite, Tuchel mentioned the great team at his disposal at Chelsea and how they handled themselves during their preseason program;
“We had the last group arrive, we went through the roster and then there would be 42 players the next day, so clearly it was not possible to provide high-level training. That was the moment in which we divided the group into groups of those of last season and others on loan. It was a very new experience for me. He wasn’t sure what to expect. The loaned players came in with a fantastic attitude. It felt like coaching a normal team. “
On whether players who returned late to preseason camp after appearing at the international this summer, Tuchel closed that possibility;
They could start, but the question is can they finish, I think not. They have eight days of training and a European final after eight days is quite demanding. It is too early for them to complete 90 minutes at this level. Clearly, the guys who were early and have more minutes deserve to start. “
This could mean that players like Nathaniel Chalobah and Ruben Loftus Cheek could be in line to start against Unai Emery’s Villarreal and Tuchel quickly brought up their chances;
“They are here to fill out the roster and give us options for tomorrow.”
Finally, the Chelsea manager gave an update on forward Tammy Abraham;
“Unfortunately not [no clarity]. I will not comment on the situation. He played some good preparation games, clearly he was not happy with the last half year and maybe he has reasons not to be. Maybe it was also my fault not to pressure him or not to trust him, I can absolutely understand that he wants more minutes. “
The English center forward has since been reported to have agreed personal terms with Premier League rival Arsenal. This is in direct contrast to reports that emerged earlier in the day from SkySports (via Sky Italia) that Chelsea and Roma had agreed to a £ 34 million deal.
Additional quotes from Thomas Tuchel, as well as from Mateo Kovačić and Antonio Rüdiger are available. here
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