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Thomas Tuchel reveals Chelsea transfer plans for key position after injury blow

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that the club could spend on a new right wing-back this month following the injury sustained by Reece James.

The Blues recently saw James pick up a hamstring injury. The England international could be out of action for the best part of two months following the setback.

The club are already short in the left wing-back role, with Ben Chilwell ruled out for the campaign after knee surgery.

They are now expected to be without James for key games. Tuchel has acknowledged that the Blues can’t depend solely on Cesar Azpilicueta at right wing-back.

Trevoh Chalobah, who can play in the position, could be out for a while after suffering a recurrence of a hamstring injury against Liverpool last weekend.

Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi have also featured in the role, but the duo are attacking players by trade and have struggled to show defensive resolve.

Speaking in a press conference on Friday, Tuchel said that the club are running out of options for the position and are looking into a potential new signing this month.

He said: “If we play in a back five it is Azpi who replaces Reece James. If we play a back four, we may need a bit more of a defensive full-back – it is also Azpi. Maybe it is Trevoh Chalobah, but Trevoh is out with an injury. We are running out of options.

“If you talk about Christian Pulisic or Callum Hudson-Odoi, they can only play wing-back. It’s not their preferred position, and they cannot play full-back. You lose options not only in personnel but in tactics.

“I will not comment on detail in the market. We check our options, and it needs to make sense. If we had a full squad, I would love to answer this question and say we need nothing. But we have the issue, and that’s why we look into it.”

The Blues are scheduled to host non-league Chesterfield in the FA Cup third round this evening. Chesterfield are on a stunning 23-match unbeaten run in all competitions.

The long streak could end at Stamford Bridge. Blues boss Thomas Tuchel is likely to name a strong line-up irrespective of the absentees due to injuries and coronavirus.

Chilwell, James and Chalobah are out with injuries. The west London giants will also be without Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante after they tested positive for COVID-19.

Kepa Arrizabalaga is expected to continue between the sticks, with regular goalkeeper Edouard Mendy having joined the Senegal set-up for the African Cup of Nations.

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