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Tuchel reveals Kante and Lukaku frustration

Thomas Tuchel has explained why N’Golo Kante and Romelu Lukaku may not be in his starting XI against Everton tonight, despite the frustrations felt by himself and the players at having to be patient on their return from injury.

Chelsea’s head coach has had to contend with a sizeable list of absentees at Chelsea in recent weeks, with Kante and Lukaku just two of the key players we have been without, Chelsea official site reports.

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Tuchel has confirmed that both players will be in the squad when we host Everton at Stamford Bridge in our next fixture but underlined what we are missing when Kante is not on the pitch, psychologically as well as technically, joking the fear opponents feel at the prospect of facing him could even be a useful scare tactic against the Toffees.Information Guide Nigeria

‘N’Golo cannot start. Tonight he is there to scare the Everton bench, every time he stands up and I call his name,’ said Tuchel with a smile, before turning more serious with his praise. ‘He is Superman when he is on the pitch. He gives you that feeling, maybe for the stadium and I’m pretty sure everyone else on the pitch, that we have some extra force there, an extra gear. That’s why he’s so important.’

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The German also admitted that given the impact Kante has on the team, the temptation is always there to rush him back into the starting line-up as soon as possible, but he has learned the need to be patient with players and wait for the right moment.

‘Do you know how often I am so close to just putting him on the pitch, even if he’s training in the swimming pool and doing a recovery water session because he’s still in pain? I am asking everybody if he can play the next day because who wants to play without him? Nobody.

‘Of course, we can push him and we try to push him but things take their time and if a player feels pain, if a player feels discomfort, I have learned and it is my belief that it makes no sense to push him.

‘It needs to be a mix between pushing but also understanding that it takes confidence, belief and trust from the player. That he is not in fear. Sometimes you have to accept it even if you don’t like to accept it.’

It is a similar story with Lukaku, although he is further along in his recovery after making four substitute appearances in the Premier League and playing the first 75 minutes of the 3-3 Champions League draw with Zenit St Petersburg – scoring our second goal – since returning from a month out with an ankle injury.

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However, in this case he has also been managing the enthusiasm of the striker to get back on the pitch and contribute as much as he can, while making sure the injury has recovered enough to stand up to the rigours of regular competition against Premier League opponents.

‘He was in training but still a bit protecting himself and the ankle, not having full trust. Even if he would never admit it, I could see it. That’s why you need to be patient because while he wants to come back there is a fight going on out there every three days and nobody will say “okay, we play with less intensity now because you have players coming back from injury or Covid”.’

‘If we play a high-intensity game every three days it’s very hard to come back from injury, no matter what your name is. This is the only concern. We are actually all the time breaking our heads over when these players can come back, in which moment, for how long. With only three changes it makes things very complicated.’

While Tuchel has complete faith in the players who have come in to fill the gaps and performed well, he says it is inevitable that the absence of players of such high quality will be felt on the pitch and believes the difference has been noticeable when you compare the form and injuries of ourselves and some of our rivals recently.

‘We don’t need only Romelu, we need everybody. That’s the big advantage at the moment for Manchester City and for Liverpool, they have everybody available, and you can see that. We don’t have everybody available, we have key players out since weeks and weeks and weeks, and you feel it.

‘The guys who are here do good, I will never complain, I am happy with everybody who plays every three days. Still, these players are Chelsea players for a reason, these players are top international players for a reason, and when they are out for too long you feel it.’JAMB Result

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Emediong Silver

Emediong Ekpe is a graduate of English. A professional Sports journalist/analyst, and a spoken word artist. He is passionate about decimating information and putting smiles on people's faces via news writing. Whatapp: 08088735884

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