Premier League • England

Chelsea icon urges attacking duo to step up after double injury blow

Marcos Alonso, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic goal celebration, Chelsea, May 2021

Joe Cole has urged two Chelsea stars to step after Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner both suffered injuries in the 4-0 Champions league win over Malmo on Wednesday night.

Lukaku suffered an ankle injury midway through the first half after being on the end of a rash tackle from Malmo defender Lasse Nielsen in the penalty box. Werner, meanwhile, appeared to suffer a hamstring problem after he ran through on goal just before the interval in the comfortable victory.

Speaking after the match, Blues boss Thomas Tuchel said that both players would be missing for ‘some days’. He now hopes their back-up options will make an impact in their absence.

“We have a twist of the ankle for Romelu and muscle injury and hamstring for Timo, so they will be out for some days,” Tuchel said.

“We were in a good place injury wise, we only had Christian Pulisic out, But we miss everybody, we have a lot of games out, we have to find solutions so no excuses.

“The two were in very good shape so now we have to find a solution and the guys that have waited for their chance now have to prove themselves.

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“We won games before without Timo and also without Romelu, we don’t want these problems too often, But you cannot hide from the fact that these things happen during a season.”

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Former West Ham, Chelsea and England midfielder Cole has now called on Kai Havertz and Callum Hudson-Odoi, who replaced Werner and Lukaku against the Swedish champions, to prove their worth.

The Blues take on Norwich in the Premier League on Saturday, ahead of games against Southampton and Newcastle.

“You don’t ever want to lose your two centre forwards, but if you’re going to lose them, you want to lose them when you’ve got that run of fixtures. They’re very winnable games,” Cole told BT Sport.


“Tuchel said that they’ve won matches without Timo and Romelu. Players like Kai Havertz and Callum Hudson-Odoi, they’ve come on tonight, they impacted the game, can they do that again on Saturday?’

“All of a sudden you’re looking round and you can wait for Timo to get back. The manager’s not driving the physio mad by asking when’s he back, because you’re winning games and players are stepping up.”

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