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 manager Maurizio Sarri has said that Gonzalo Higuain must produce his best performances for the club during the final two months of the season. The Argentina international has largely been a hit-and-miss since his winter move to the club and he has managed just three goals across all competitions.
Speaking after the Blues’ 2-1 win over Cardiff City, Sarri acknowledged that Higuain is struggling to keep up with the demands of the Premier League but the club don’t have much time to help him adjust, he said: “He said to me that it’s difficult because the physical impact of the defenders here is really very strong. The referees here are really very different than in Italy, so it’s another football for him. Especially for the striker and the goalkeeper, I think it’s really very different. So I think he needs time, but we have no time. We need him at his top level in the last two months.”
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Former Chelsea star Michael Essien believes Eden Hazard would find it hard to ignore the advances from Real Madrid, should they come calling for his services next year. The Belgium international has just 18 months remaining on his existing deal with the Blues and this has seemingly increased speculation regarding his future with a contract renewal far from happening.
Speaking to The Express, Essien said that Hazard is one of the best players in the world and looks fantastic while plying his trade for the Blues. However, the interest from Los Blancos could be hard to refuse for the former Lille graduate, considering they have been his dream club since his childhood days.
Essien said: “He’s been playing in the Premier League very well and looks fantastic at the moment. Hazard is one of the best players in the world. The interest of Real Madrid, I only hear from people in the media. But I mean when Real Madrid come calling… every player would love to play for them. He’s happy at Chelsea though and hopefully we can keep him.”
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Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino believes Tottenham Hotspur fans would be more devastated than Sol Campbell’s switch to Arsenal, should Mauricio Pochettino accept the head coach role at Chelsea. The 46-year-old has helped transform Spurs into a regular top-four side in recent seasons but his future is apparently uncertain beyond the summer.
As such, reports have linked him with a shock move across town to Chelsea, and Cascarino feels this could have a drastic effect on the Spurs faithful, he said: “Would this be worse than Sol Campbell going from Spurs to Arsenal?I feel that a lot of Tottenham fans would think it would be.He’s their manager!
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