Premier League • England

Thomas Tuchel admits huge Chelsea disadvantage that needs addressing to catch big two

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel

Thomas Tuchel believes Chelsea will need to act swiftly when they are allowed to enter the transfer market to avoid falling further behind the top two.

The Blues ended their campaign with a 2-1 home triumph over relegated Watford. Kai Havertz gave them an 11th-minute lead and it seemed as though that would be enough to secure all three points. However, Dan Gosling equalised for the Hornets with just there minutes left on the watch.

But Ross Barkley headed home Reece James’ cross one minute into stoppage time to earn Chelsea’s 21st win of the season. It left the west London outfit third in the table on 74 points and Tuchel happy.

The last few months of the campaign have been played out under a cloud after the sanctioning of Roman Abramovich.

Todd Boehly is hoping to buy the club but has yet to complete the purchase. He was in the stands to see the season finale but his hands are tied as regards purchasing new players.

Chelsea are still operating under a strict temporary Government licence. And Tuchel confessed that the current state of affairs will only see Manchester City and Liverpool pull further away from his side.

“Let’s see, when, finally, we will have the chance to act and make up, because the disadvantage in terms of timing for the rebuild is big,” he said.

“We have to be fast and smart. And the disadvantage grows every day, of course, while the two top teams improve their teams, and have very clear teams on which they build.

“It’s a kind of rebuild for us and makes things even more challenging.”

Tuchel has eyes on new additions

Chelsea reached the final of both the EFL Cup and FA Cup in 2021-2022. They were twice narrowly beaten on penalties by the Reds at Wembley and will end the season trophyless.

The Stamford Bridge outfit cannot sign existing players to new deals due to the situation. And their recruitment is also on hold.

Tuchel knows he is up against it and will waste no time once things return to normal.

“We have in the moment a huge disadvantage; that’s not decisive yet,” added the German. “There is no need to make excuses now, it is just the situation we are in and we have to be as quick as possible.

“Right now, of course, it is unsatisfying because our hands are tied and we cannot act as we want.”

But the former Paris Saint-German chief is aware that there is much to be done before new players arrive at the club.

“We have clear ideas for the profiles and characteristic of these players,” he continued. “But it is not like you put a name on the list and then you get the player.

Todd Boehly, Bruce Buck Chelsea v Wolves May 2022

“You have to convince the player, you have to speak to other clubs and convince yourself this is the player.

“So there is normally a lot of work and it will be the same to be competitive next season, while, like everybody else, tries to close the gap to us, while the two top teams are what they are.”

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