Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has revealed that midfielder Mateo Kovacic will miss the club’s London derby clash against fellow Premier League campaigners Tottenham Hotspurs this weekend.
The Croatian international has suffered a knee injury which requires more treatment. He had endured a disrupted pre-season where he was introduced into Chelsea’s friendlies later, having struggled with injury and was an unused substitute, after settling for a place on the bench against Everton on the opening day of the Premier League season.
The 28-year-old is one of two Chelsea players unavailable for selection for the match against Antonio Conte’s team at Stamford Bridge, with Marcos Alonso still unavailable for selection.
The Spaniard asked not to be considered for the Blues’ opening Premier League game as he attempts to seal a summer transfer to Spanish La Liga side FC Barcelona.
As a result, the Spaniard has not been involved in Chelsea’s training after Tuchel admitted last week that it did not make sense to put him on the pitch. In the aftermath of the win over Everton, the German coach suggested Alonso would otherwise have been on the pitch.
Speaking in a presser ahead of the crunch London Derby against Spurs, Tuchel said while giving an update: “He is not in training at the moment and tries to finalise his transfer, so he will not be available for tomorrow’s game. It is the same for Kova, who is injured, unfortunately. He has issues with his knee and always has a little bit of a reaction, so we decided to take a step back and increase treatment time and reduce the stress that comes from training to have no more reaction before we start again. This is who we miss on Sunday, but everybody else is available.”