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Thomas Tuchel replies when asked about Chelsea FC’s January transfer plans

Thomas Tuchel provided an update on Chelsea FC's January transfer plans in the lead-up to the FA Cup clash against Chesterfield

Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel (Photo: BT Sport / Screengrab)

Thomas Tuchel has revealed that Chelsea FC are considering dipping into the January transfer market and that they are “looking” at options to strengthen their squad.

The south west London side endured a relatively quiet summer window, with the Blues bringing in Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Bettinelli and Saul Niguez on loan.

As is usually the case with a club of Chelsea FC’s stature, the Blues are being linked with a number of potential signings this month as they consider bolstering their squad ahead of the second half of the season.

With left-back Ben Chilwell ruled out for the rest of the season due to a serious knee injury and Reece James also currently on the sidelines with a hamstring problem, Tuchel has hinted that he may look to bring in some reinforcements this month as cover.

The German head coach has revealed that Chelsea FC’s injury issues may cause them to dip into the transfer market this month, but he insists that they are looking at potential options without too much pressure.

Speaking at a news conference before the 5-1 FA Cup win over Chesterfield, Tuchel said: “We are in talks with the staff and the board and the scouting, checking possibilities which we would always do. Given the fact we have some long-term injuries, we are looking into the market, but not under the very highest pressure.

“Things have to make sense for us personality wise and position wise, and also quality wise. We have options and we will check them.”

Tuchel went on to hint that the club may be looking to strengthen their options on the right side of their team.

So we were running out of options. If you talk about Christian Pulisic or Callum Hudson-Odoi, they can for sure only play wing-back, this is only fair to them. It’s not their preferred position and they cannot show their full potential if they play there, and they can for sure not play full-back.

He continued: “If we play in the back-five, it’s [Cesar Azpilicueta], if we play a back-four and the need is maybe a bit more defensive full-back with different characteristics to protect the offensive players, it is also Azpi. Maybe it could be Trevoh Chalobah but he is out with injury.

“So you lose options not only personnel-wise but also in tactics and formation. That’s why we look into the market and we check our options but in the end it needs to make sense, it’s not only pure numbers. It’s needs to be a good mix of high quality, high-level attitude and character.

“If we had a full squad I would love to say we do nothing [in the transfer market] because we’re only happy, but we have this issue and that’s why we look into what’s possible.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea FC academy graduate Lewis Hall impressed on his full senior debut in the FA Cup win over Chesterfield on Saturday, with the 17-year-old setting up Romelu Lukaku’s goal in the third-round tie at Stamford Bridge.

“It was his performance in general, his attitude in training and the quality he showed,” Tuchel said of Hall. “He was very calm, very good in training in our possession games and small-sided games.

“He deserved to start. We needed a pause for Toni [Antonio Rudiger] and Azpi and Marcos [Alonso] in defence. We had three defenders left and he was one of them.”

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