Tuchel’s £50m salvation
Ahead of the January transfer window opening, Chelsea have reportedly made an approach for AC Milan left-back Theo Hernandez.
According to Italian outlet Calciomercato via Sport Witness, Chelsea see Hernandez as a solution to their current left-wing-back crisis after Ben Chilwell was ruled out for the season with an ACL injury.
The French defender has impressed for Stefano Pioli this season and at 24, he would be seen as an ideal addition for Thomas Tuchel.
AC Milan have rejected the European champions’ initial approach as the report claims, with a fee of £50m being put on Hernandez’s head for any deal to be done in January.
Our Take: Sadly the news of Ben Chilwell’s ACL injury could force Marina Granovskaia to negotiate higher than she would want to in a difficult month like January. Hernandez is one of many targets recently linked, however, a deal of this price feels highly unlikely next month given his age, importance to Milan and what the Blues should be looking for.
Tuchel maks “stupid” title claim
Tuchel has claimed it’s ‘stupid’ to think his side are still in the Premier League title race after the disappointing draw to Brighton on Wednesday night.
Speaking in the post-match press conference, as reported by Sky Sports, the German pointed to COVID absentees and persistent injury issues currently plaguing his first-team options heading into January.
“How should we be in it? We have seven Covid cases. We have five or six players out for six or more weeks. How should we compete in a title race?
Everyone else who has a full squad, everybody in training has the full power to come through this league.
“We would be stupid to think we can do it out of Covid and injuries and just play, and everybody would be stupid to do it without 23 fit players.”
Our Take: It’s hard to disagree with Tuchel’s more pessimistic assessment. Even putting aside the eight points dropped recently at Stamford Bridge, the seemingly never-ending list of players ruled out through injury or COVID has decimated Tuchel’s options at a time of need.
With the poor form in addition to those setbacks, it is difficult to see Chelsea catching Manchester City before May.
Hudson-Odoi ‘very strange’ moment
Two former Chelsea players in Gus Poyet and Eniola Aluko criticised forward Callum Hudson-Odoi after failing to make the most of the Blues’ best opportunity against Brighton which could have made the game 2-0.
“At this level, you’ve got to be better,” Aluko said on Amazon Prime’s coverage of the game at Stamford Bridge.
“It’s a two vs one situation, maybe he needs to release it quicker. But you’ve got to make that pass, you have to make that pass. That’s the difference potentially between winning the game and getting a sickening equaliser at the end and drawing the game.”
“I’m surprised he [Hudson-Odoi] needed to pass. It’s not like he tried to pass over the defender or around him.” Poyet added after Aluko’s criticism.
“He hit the defender straight away. That’s very strange. Normally you miss that pass in behind because the other player is too far ahead of you or you try to play it too clever.”
Our Take: It was even more painful seeing that moment from my East Upper seat, Hudson-Odoi had sadly one of his worst Chelsea performances following one of his best at Aston Villa.
This wastefulness sadly feels all too common in recent years at the club from a number of players, a moment you cannot help but feel Manchester City or Liverpool would have scored from.