Chelsea’s makeshift first-team group was back to work on the training pitches at Cobham today for day four of pre-season training.
The Blues squad was put through two sessions – one in the morning and one in the afternoon – under the watchful eye of Thomas Tuchel and his coaching staff.
Those players who represented their respective countries at the European Championship and Copa America have yet to return to Cobham, and are not expected to do so until next week at the earliest).
So a number of returning loanees, a handful of first-team stars, and two wildcards are still pushing hard to impress Tuchel.
Pre-season will step up on Saturday with the Blues in match action for the first time.
They will take on Peterborough United at Cobham in a behind-closed-doors friendly before then heading out to Dublin on Tuesday for a week-long training camp.
The Blues squad will then return to take on Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on July 27 before games during the first week of August against Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in the Mind Series.
Chelsea’s season will officially begin with the UEFA Super Cup final against Villarreal on Wednesday, August 11, before their Premier League campaign kicks off three days later at home to Crystal Palace.
There is, however, still much work to be done over the coming days and weeks. And here is what we spotted from day four of Chelsea’s pre-season campaign.
No Marc Guehi
The 21-year-old centre-back returned to Cobham on Monday and was involved with the first-team group for the opening three days of the club’s pre-season campaign.
There was an expectation heading into this summer that Guehi would be pushing hard for a place in Tuchel’s squad but news broke today that the defender is set to join Crystal Palace after the Eagles agreed a significant fee with Chelsea and a five-year contract with the academy graduate.
Guehi undertook a medical with Palace today and, unsurprisingly, wasn’t at Cobham. His move is expected to be completed in the next 48 hours.
Gallagher trains amid loan interest…
After impressive loan spells at Charlton Athletic, Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion over the past two seasons, Conor Gallagher is back at Chelsea and is pushing for a place in Tuchel’s squad for the forthcoming season.
The midfielder possesses several attributes the German admires: energy and industry out of possession, an ability to press, and plenty of little talent on the ball.
Yet with the Blues maintaining an interest in Declan Rice, another loan move may be on the cards for Gallagher and Newcastle United are interested according to reports.
…and so does Trevoh Chalobah
Another midfielder back at Chelsea this summer after a productive loan spell last season in Chalobah.
He spent the 2020/21 campaign in Ligue 1 with Lorient and helped the French side stay in the top flight and record a notable victory against Paris Saint-Germain during the season run-in.
At 22 years old, he has the experience and talent required to step into the first-team picture if required. Yet there is interest in his services at home and abroad.
football.london understands newly-promoted Brentford are willing to offer him a season in the Premier League while two clubs in Europe that are in the Europa League next term are also interested.
Musonda continues his comeback
Due to a serious knee injury suffered while on loan at Vitesse, it’s been almost two years since Charly Musonda played a competitive game of football.
Doctors gave the Belgian very little chance of making a full recovery, and no real chance of getting back to the level required to play for Chelsea.
And yet Musonda has been training with the first-team squad this week and sources have told football.london the 24-year-old has looked sharp, especially for a player who hasn’t played back-to-back senior games for four years.
It would be a huge ask for Musonda to make the jump back to the Chelsea first-team picture after such a long spell on the sidelines, but if he can prove his fitness during pre-season then he will be one step closer to making a return to competitive football.
And that in itself will be a significant achievement.
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