Despite Christmas festivities going on, both Thomas Tuchel and Marina Granovskaia still have plenty of work to do at Chelsea ahead of the new year
Whilst the Chelsea squad will have their focus firmly on their Christmas festivities today, that does not mean that work stops at Stamford Bridge.
Currently in the midst of a Premier League title challenge and aiming to build on his highly-successful year in charge of the Blues, Thomas Tuchel still has plenty to consider.
Meanwhile, alongside club director Marina Granvoskaia, the German will be compiling Chelsea’s list of potential transfer targets with the January transfer window just around the corner.
So with half of the season now all-but complete, football.london has taken a look at the three major decisions that need to be made shortly after the Christmas period.
Rudiger’s future will be decided
Much of the talk throughout the majority of the season has been Antonio Rudiger’s immediate future with the Blues.
The German defender has become a key player under the tutelage of his compatriot Tuchel. There is just one problem, however, and that is that his contract continues to run down.
Rudiger is free to negotiate a Bosman move to a foreign club in January, which would thus see Chelsea lose out on the considerable transfer fee that it would take to prise him out of Stamford Bridge.
The Blues will of course be keen then on the 28-year-old penning a new deal in west London and that could still be the result at the end.
Should that look unlikely, though, Chelsea could end up being forced to accept a fee for Rudiger in January or just allow him to play out the final few months of his Blues career.
Either way, the situation is likely to be decided after Christmas.
Trophies will be prioritised
As it stands, the Blues are set to be challenging in five competitions after Christmas: Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and Carabao Cup.
Tuchel has previously suggested that his side are targeting glory in every single one.
He said: “This is why we are here. We are here to win and the club is built to win and this is the DNA of the club.
“We want to be competitive and this is what we are up for as coaches and as a team. So any competition we start, we go for the very best and this [Carabao Cup] is a final at Wembley that we want to reach.”
Even for a squad as talented as Chelsea’s, it seems unlikely that the Londoners will be able to sustain challenges in each of the competitions – especially if Covid or injuries have the same kind of impact on the club as they did before Christmas.
It might then take a tough decision from Tuchel to prioritise which competitions the Blues will really target for the remainder of the campaign.
Most would suggest that the Premier League and Champions League would be the most important for a club the size of Chelsea so it might be a case of somewhat weaker sides in the other competitions following the festive period.
Chilwell’s injury situation will be clearer
One injury that has impacted Chelsea quite considerably ahead of Christmas is the major injury sustained by Ben Chilwell.
The England defender has been out since suffering a serious knee problem in the 4-0 victory against Juventus in the Champions League.
Whilst there has been good news surrounding Chilwell having participated in limited training on the grass, Tuchel has previously suggested that a more long-term decision will be made on his recovery in January.
He said: “He has a partial injury of his ACL and the decision is to treat it conservatively and the next six weeks will tell the story actually if he makes it and will be fully available hopefully within this six weeks or after this six weeks or he needs a surgery after that.”
As Chilwell steps up his recovery, the situation surrounding his injury will of course become clearer and it will then be decided whether he indeed needs surgery or not
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