Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola has dropped a positive injury update on Antonio Rudiger. The Germany international picked up a knee injury during the recent 2-0 league defeat at Liverpool but it appears that the concern is a minor one, and he could return for the trip to Manchester United at the end of the month.
Speaking in a press conference, Zola acknowledged that the Blues have been lucky with the defender’s injury setback and there remains a strong possibility of a comeback against United later in the month, he said: “It looks not as bad as we thought, luckily. When he came off limping, we were worried. Apparently it’s not that bad. He’s a strong boy and he’ll be back sooner than you expect. Yes, there is a strong possibility that we see him [against United]. He’s a warrior and won’t want to miss a game like that. The next few days will be very important to see if he can continue recovering.”
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Chelsea assistant Gianfranco Zola has defended the club’s handling of Callum Hudson-Odoi over the past few months. The England youth international was the subject of interest from German giants Bayern Munich during the winter transfer window but the deal never materialised with the Blues showing no interest in sanctioning his sale.
Thereafter, it had been anticipated that the youngster would receive regular gametime with the first team but this has not been the case with manager Maurizio Sarri preferring to go with the seniors who have regularly featured for the team since the beginning of the current campaign. Amidst this, there has been plenty of concern from the faithful regarding the youngster’s future but Zola has stressed that Hudson-Odoi does not have an easy route to the starting line-up, he said: “Sorry, but I disagree with this. He is always on the edge of the team. As soon as there is an opportunity he plays – sometimes from the beginning, sometimes he comes on.
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Chelsea favourite Gianfranco Zola has dismissed the talk of him making a return to Stamford Bridge. The Italian has been recently tipped to take up an assistant job with the Blues looking to recruit Maurizio Sarri as their next head coach in the summer.
In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, Zola clarified that he is on a year’s sabbatical following his dismissal from the managerial role at Birmingham City in April 2017. The 51-year-old added that he has not received any offer from the Blues to rejoin in a coaching capacity. He said: “One week there is and one week there isn’t something linking me with Chelsea. But I know nothing about this hypothesis. Besides, after Birmingham I’ve taken a year out.”
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