A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
Chelsea will be without defensive duo Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole for the visit of Rubin Kazan tomorrow, with both likely to be side-lined for two weeks with their injuries. Demba Ba is ineligible for the match, with Oriol Romeu a long term absentee for the Blues.
Rubin will be without January signing Yann M’Vila and striker Alexander Ryazanstev, whilst midfielder Alan Kasaev is a doubt for the Russian side.
Ryan Bertrand is hoping to make an impression on the side in Cole’s absence, and that the injured player has been a role model for him throughout his career, even before Cole signed for Chelsea.
Kevin De Bruyne has been told he will be given the chance to prove himself in the Chelsea first team next season following a successful loan spell at Werder Bremen. De Bruyne’s agent, Patrick De Koster, said that he has had positive talks with the Blues about the Belgian:
“The conversation was very positive. They are pleased with his progress and think he is ready to become part of the first team. The only problem is there is still no clarity about who is head coach next season.”
Dider Drogba believes that Jose Mourinho could return to manage Chelsea because the Portuguese manager has unfinished business at Stamford Bridge. Mourinho was very successful in his first reign at Chelsea, but Drogba thinks he might want to win the Champions League with the Blues.
The man Mourinho might replace, Rafa Benitez, has said that he hopes to move on to another top club this summer, and might even stay in England. Benitez is still a deeply unpopular figure at Chelsea, despite the club’s fine Europa League and FA Cup runs.
Benitez has also said he thought Ray Wilkins was making an April Fool’s joke when he suggested Ashley Cole would have avoided injury against Manchester United had Benitez started him against Southampton two days earlier.
John Terry has said that he believes that Eden Hazard has given Chelsea’s rivals plenty to fear with his recent performances, and that the Belgian forward might be key to the Blues’ attempts to succeed on three fronts this season:
“He has been scoring goals as well as making them. When you come off the pitch and talk to the opposition, they all say, ‘I don’t fancy playing against him every week!”
On HITC today we ask if Rafa Benitez has any incentive to get Chelsea in the top four, and Lewis Doe argues it would be a mistake to convert David Luiz into a midfielder. Mathew Nash also takes a look at why Florent Malouda will be in demand this summer.
image: © Jason Bagley