Chelsea have been dealt a huge blow as Head Coach Thomas Tuchel confirmed N’Golo Kante has tested positive for Covid-19. Having already lost Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount and Reece James through injuries, Tuchel would be forced to shuffle his pack when they take on Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Kante, who will miss the Champions League game is expected to sit out the game against Southampton on Saturday due to self-isolation. Speaking to reporters ahead of the Juventus game Tuchel admitted he wouldn’t be the right person to urge everyone get vaccinated for Covid-19. The German added “It would be easy to say yes and get the applause from a lot of people but do I have the right to say it? I’m not so sure. I can make the decision for myself. Everyone else has to reflect on it and take the risk.”
“I am vaccinated like I said, I took the decision for myself but I don’t see myself in the position to speak out and give recommendations. I think that would go too far, I’m a football coach and I’m not an expert in this.”
“Everyone is an adult and lives in a free country and free society. We don’t like to lose players but we are not angry at N’Golo (for testing positive), we are concerned and worried for him just like I am with injured players. We will take care of them.”
On asked how much of his squad were vaccinated, Tuchel said “I don’t know the percentage, we are also only a reflection of society. The players are adults and have free choice on whether they want to get vaccinated or not, and we should accept it.”
“I know the situation is far from over. When somebody in the group gets it it makes you very aware that it’s not over.”
Tuchel insisted the game against Juventus will be a tough one despite the Italian club’s struggles this season. He added “They are so experienced and such a big club with so much Champions League experience. They will enjoy the different competition. They have had a bit of a rough start according to their results in Serie A, but they were convincing in the Champions League.”
“You never know with players that are missing. The guys who come in want to show they are reliable. We play Juventus at Juventus. It’s a no-brainer that demands respect to the quality and tradition of the club. We need to refocus and regroup and face a tough challenge with positive energy and determination to bounce back from our defeat.”