Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has provided an injury update on key midfielders N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic.
The Blues have been without the pair some time now and as a result they have suffered in some games, failing to control the midfield and also losing the ability to rotate their central midfield options in ‘lesser’ games.
And the latest update from Tuchel will not bode well for Chelsea fans, especially coming after their 3-2 defeat at the hands of West Ham United.
Tuchel admitted that he has no idea when ball-winning midfielder Kante will return to the team, and added that Kovacic is also missing.
Kante has been plagued with fitness issues since Chelsea’s last title win, and under Thomas Tuchel he has only played in 48% of games.
Even more worrying is the news that midfield regista Jorginho has been playing with a knock on his hip for a few matchdays.
Tuchel on Kante: "I have no idea when he will be back and we are not only missing N'Golo but Mateo Kovacic.
"Jorginho is playing with hip pain for many matchdays and you can see it."
— Adam Newson (@AdamNewson) December 4, 2021
You only need to look at Chelsea’s performance against Watford in midweek to see how much Chelsea miss Jorginho.
Without him, they tend to lack any control in their midfield, often also lacking tempo in build up. And the options left behind him are not up to the standard for Chelsea to win a league title if they play more than sparingly.
While Ruben Loftus-Cheek has done the best he can in his role partnering the Italian, he is not the player needed to solve all the issues.
Furthermore, on loan midfielder Saul Niguez has been very poor since switching Madrid for London and looks a shadow of the player who has been a key part of Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid side for the last few years.
The sooner Chelsea get Kante and Kovacic back, the sooner they will be able to resume their title charge.