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Lampard issues injury update on three Chelsea stars ahead of derby vs Arsenal

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Chelsea posted an overall profit in the past financial year despite suffering losses in revenue streams. (GETTY Images)

Team News: Lampard issues injury update on 3 first-team stars ahead of Arsenal clash

Speaking ahead of the weekend derby vs Arsenal, Frank Lampard provided an update on the team news that Chelsea will be without three of their first-team stars against Arsenal due to injury.

Chelsea face rivals Arsenal on Boxing Day in the Premier League. The Blues’ return to winning ways in the league after a win against West Ham United on Monday was dampened by Ben Chilwell’s injury.

The left-back had to be substituted just 10 minutes after coming on due to an ankle injury. The £45million summer signing started in 10 consecutive league games before the win against West Ham.

Ben Chilwell is an injury worry for Chelsea
Ben Chilwell will be out against Arsenal due to an ankle injury.

He is joined on the sidelines by another English full-back, Reece James. The 21-year-old is recovering from a knee injury and will also not be in the squad against Arsenal.

“They’re both doubtful. We’re not sure whether they will be fit for either game.” 

Ziyech adds to the injury trouble

Lampard’s troubles are compounded by the fact that Hakim Ziyech is also ruled out with a thigh injury for the clash.

“No, he [Ziyech] won’t be fit for Arsenal. He had a knee injury at the start of the season and he now has a muscle injury.”

Reece James is recovering from an ankle injury.
Reece James is recovering from an ankle injury.

Lampard did add a positive touch to the news by saying he expects the Moroccan to come back next week and continue offering “great things” to the team.

The injury to the full-backs comes as a blow for the Chelsea boss. Lampard earlier expressed his hopes of having the duo involved in the matches around the Christmas period.

Luckily for the Blues, the team is not devoid of quality on the bench. While James and Chilwell will be a huge miss, other players in the squad have proven capable enough to step in when needed.

Hakim Ziyech will be out for Chelsea against Arsenal due to a muscle injury.
Hakim Ziyech will be out for Chelsea against Arsenal due to a muscle injury.

Lampard’s men will be looking to reclaim a top-4 spot this week but cannot afford to be callous against Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal.

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Even though Arsenal are winless in their last 7 league games, the stakes in the derby are always high and the form-book usually goes out of the window in such matches.

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Chelsea to target solid Atletico star to bolster Tuchel’s backline

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Chelsea to target Jose Maria Gimenez in the summer

According to The Athletic, Chelsea are set to target Jose Maria Gimenez from Atletico Madrid this summer. The Uruguayan is among a three-man wishlist that also includes Niklas Sule of Bayern Munich and Ibrahima Konate of RB Leipzig.

Chelsea don’t necessarily need another central defender right now. The club already have a strong contingent from which Thomas Tuchel has used the likes of Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta.

Kurt Zouma has had to wait for his chances while Fikayo Tomori was allowed to leave for AC Milan on loan.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 31: (L – R) Timo Werner, Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger of Chelsea prepare for a corner kick during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Burnley at Stamford Bridge on January 31, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

While Silva has had a great impact since arriving last summer, he will be 37 years old by the time the next season rolls on. Even Cesar Azpilicueta will need replacing at some point due to his age. That makes a good case for adding another solid centre-back to the side.

It’s not hard to see why Gimenez is among the names being considered by Chelsea. He is one of Diego Simeone’s trusted lieutenants, who plays a big part in their highly astute defensive structure. A no-nonsense defender, Gimenez is not someone who shies away from challenges.

Jose Maria Gimenez is set to miss the Champions League clash against Chelsea due to injury. (GETTY Images)
Jose Maria Gimenez is set to miss the Champions League clash against Chelsea due to injury. (GETTY Images)

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However, prising away the defender will not be any easy given how important he is for Atleti. Chelsea might just need to shell out the big bucks if they are to change Simeone’s mind. On the up, Gimenez could be a good fit for Chelsea and bring some leadership into the backline.

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Thomas Tuchel heard shouting at Timo Werner during the 2-0 win vs Everton

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Thomas Tuchel shouts at Timo Werner during the game

Thomas Tuchel was heard shouting at Timo Werner during the Chelsea vs Everton game because of his positioning (h/t Daily Mail). The microphones picked up Tuchel’s loud instructions to Werner on his positioning.

Chelsea had no problems in getting past Everton with a 2-0 win, courtesy of a Ben Godfrey own goal and Jorginho penalty. The hosts were hardly troubled by Ancelotti’s men as they gathered another 3 points in the race for top-four.

Liverpool v Chelsea – Premier League – Anfield Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel reacts on the touchline during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Thursday March 4, 2021.

However, ahead of scoring their first goal, Thomas Tuchel was heard shouting at Timo Werner for his positioning. The German duo were talking in their native language but rough translations revealed that Tuchel was pointing out that Werner was playing on the left. Whereas he was supposed to be playing on the right.

‘Timo, how long are you staying on the left? You’re playing on the right! The last 15 mins you’ve only been on the left! Don’t you understand?’

The Blues put the tactical tweaks to good effect as they scored soon after. Kai Havertz’s shot was deflected into the goal by Ben Godfrey as Chelsea went into the break at 1-0. All the shouting aside, Werner actually had a decent game with some efforts on goal, which were saved by Pickford.

Timo Werner has the trust of his Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel. (GETTY Images)
Timo Werner has the trust of his Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel. (GETTY Images)

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Tuchel greeted Werner with a handshake when the latter was substituted. Werner is slowly looking back to his best and now only needs the goals to back it up. The shouts from Tuchel didn’t really seem to be an issue as it looked like something in the heat of the moment.

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“I don’t agree” – PL boss insists Chelsea target is worth more than £100m

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David Moyes speaks out on Declan Rice amidst Chelsea interest

According to Sky Sports, David Moyes insists that Chelsea linked Declan Rice is far more valuable than £100m. It had been said earlier that West Ham co-owner David Sullivan values the prized asset around a similar mark.

Rice has been a target for the Blues since the start of this season and it was said that then manager Frank Lampard was especially keen on bringing Rice back to Chelsea, where he was once an academy player.

Declan Rice and Mason Mount were together at Chelsea
Declan Rice and Mason Mount were together at Chelsea during the academy days

However, after Lampard’s sacking, it was expected that interest in Rice would drop from the Blues since Lampard was one of the main people who wanted to sign him. It even caused disagreements between Lampard and the board.

Nonetheless, David Moyes claimed that the English man is way more than £100m as valued by Sullivan.

“I don’t agree with the owners that Declan Rice is a £100m footballer. Far, far more than £100m. Far, far more. I look at the players who have joined some clubs from overseas and come in and nowhere near had the impact Declan Rice would have.

I certainly wouldn’t put a price on it. You can decide which figure you want to put on it but I wouldn’t be sanctioning anything like that, that’s for sure.”

Chelsea target Declan Rice in action for West Ham United. (GETTY Images)
Chelsea target Declan Rice in action for West Ham United. (GETTY Images)

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Now with Thomas Tuchel at the helm, as expected, interest in the West Ham midfielder has mellowed down a bit. The club are likely to push for other targets, which does not include Rice. Also with £100m or more being asked, Chelsea might just think twice before going for him.

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A View From The Bridge

Chelsea receive a boost in the race for talented young Bundesliga starlet

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Chelsea receive a boost to sign Ibrahima Konate

According to Christian Falk of BILD (h/t chelseafc.com), Chelsea have received a boost in their pursuit of Ibrahima Konate. The Blues are said to be ahead of others because of Thomas Tuchel’s assistant Zsolt Low, who has a prior association with the Leipzig defender.

It’s not that Chelsea overly require a new central defender. The club already boast of a strong contingent from which Thomas Tuchel has used the likes of Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta. We sent Fikayo Tomori on loan as well as having Kurt Zouma on the side.

While Silva has had a great impact since arriving last summer, he will be 37 years old by the time the next season rolls on. Even Cesar Azpilicueta will need replacing at some point due to his age. So adding another elite centre-back would serve the club well.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 31: (L – R) Timo Werner, Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger of Chelsea prepare for a corner kick during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Burnley at Stamford Bridge on January 31, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The 21-year-old Konate has been with Leipzig since 2017, having joined from boyhood club FC Sochaux. During his time at the Saxony-based outfit, Konate has grown into a promising young centre-back with loads of potential.

It is now believed that Zsolt Low, who is Tuchel’s assistant, could help Chelsea in their bid to convince Konate to move to the Bridge. Low worked with the youngster when he was the assistant manager under Ralf Rangnick and Ralph Hasenhuttl at Leipzig. Falk spoke about the connection between Konate and Low.

SINSHEIM, GERMANY – DECEMBER 16: Ibrahima Konate of RB Leipzig in action during the Bundesliga match between TSG Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig at PreZero-Arena on December 16, 2020 in Sinsheim, Germany. (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images)

‘The focus is very much on Konate in Leipzig at the moment. I’ve heard that Chelsea would like to get him. They would like to have him, and Tuchel is learning from Zsolt Low because he knows Konate from their time at Leipzig.’

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Falk believes that this connection could help Chelsea get a boost in their pursuit and it was good for Tuchel. It remains to be seen how the Blues take advantage of this situation to prise away one of the best, emerging centre-backs in Europe.

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