Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel may struggle to find a suitable midfield partnership when the Blues return to action against West Bromwich Albion on April 3, as Jorginho and N’Golo Kanté picked up injuries while on international duty.
Thomas Tuchel Handed Injury Worries Over the International Break
Chelsea Midfield Duo Suffer Injuries
Kanté, who has been in fine form for the Blues since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel, suffered a hamstring issue during his appearance for France on Wednesday night.
The severity of the setback is unknown, although it is not believed to be very serious. The midfielder headed back to London to receive treatment from his club’s staff after his side’s 1-1 draw with Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Jorginho picked up a knee problem before Italy clashed with Northern Ireland on Thursday evening. His injury has also been deemed a minor issue but is requiring treatment.
Jorginho wasn’t included in the squad for that game and is set to be assessed by Chelsea’s medical staff over the coming days.
Chelsea face West Brom next Saturday and are likely to be without two key players. Matteo Kovacic is the only other player to have played regularly at holding midfield this season for The Blues.
What Options Does Thomas Tuchel Have?
Since arriving at Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel has overseen his side becoming a solid defensive unit, keeping 12 clean sheets in his first 14 games at the club.
His side’s holding midfielders have been crucial to this happening. Without Jorginho or Kanté, the German will have to play an experienced squad member out of position, give an inexperienced player an opportunity, or change his tactical setup.
Billy Gilmour has played just twice this season but is seen by many as an exciting prospect. These injuries could open the door for him to prove himself to his new manager.
Tuchel has usually opted for a formation with three centre-backs, and two holding midfielders. Seeming unlikely to change shape, he may be short of defenders to fill the gap in midfield, and Chelsea’s attacking midfielders are unlikely to be able to deal with the defensive responsibility needed to fill the role.
This will provide hope for Gilmour that he can earn his first start in the Premier League this season. The Scotland U21s international won’t receive many opportunities to showcase his worth to Chelsea’s management and fans any time soon.