Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel buoyed by return of key duo

Date published: Tuesday 12th October 2021 3:58 - Matthew Briggs

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel smiling in May 2021

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel will have N’Golo Kante and Reece James in contention for the Premier League trip to Brentford on Saturday.

France midfielder Kante has been missing after contracting Covid-19. He missed the win over Southampton at the start of the month.

But the 30-year-old, who was in self-isolation, returned to full Chelsea training on Tuesday.

England defender James also missed out against Saints due to an ankle problem. He also missed the international fixtures, but has also shaken off his injury to return to action at the Blues’ Cobham training base.

“Two key players have returned to Chelsea training to provide Thomas Tuchel with a welcome boost ahead of Saturday’s trip to Brentford,” read a Chelsea statement.

“Midfielder N’Golo Kante has returned to full training at Cobham following his period of self-isolation. Whilst Reece James was also involved after withdrawing from the England squad last week due to an ankle injury picked up in the game against Manchester City.”

World Cup-winner Kante will bolster Chelsea’s ranks for the trip to take on Thomas Frank’s Bees. The former Leicester star is now in line to feature in defensive midfield.


James’ availability will add options at either right centre-back or right wing-back for boss Tuchel.

Chelsea will be left to wait on injury concerns to other players though.

Christian Pulisic continues to battle ankle trouble, while Romelu Lukaku suffered with muscle soreness on Belgium duty.

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Tuchel open to Kante sale

A recent report claimed Tuchel was considering the sale of Kante.

Kante put in a series of mammoth displays as Chelsea marched towards their second Champions League success last season. However, injury struggles have increasingly begun to affect the midfielder.


And with Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic taking their games to the next level, plus the likes of Billy Gilmour and Conor Gallagher in the pipeline, a surprise report from Goal has revealed Kante could soon be axed.

Citing Spanish outlet Fichajes, it’s stated Chelsea are ‘willing to sanction’ Kante’s departure in 2022. At that time, Kante will have just a single year remaining on his deal that expires in 2023.

READ MORE: Sevilla chief explains bold decision to deny Chelsea Jules Kounde transfer

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