A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
Kevin De Bruyne has been forced to leave Chelsea’s pre-season tour of Asia early after picking up an injury during the Blues 4-1 win over Malaysia XI at the weekend. De Bruyne will undergo an MRI on his knee to assess the extent of the injury. The Belgian midfielder is expected to be part of Jose Mourinho’s first team squad next season after spending last year on loan.
Mourinho is hopeful that De Bruyne’s injury is not too serious, with a preliminary assessment indicating that the midfielder had not damaged his ligaments.
Another young Belgian hoping to force themselves into Chelsea first team is Romelu Lukaku, and Mourinho has indicated the striker will challenge Fernando Torres after an impressive start to pre-season, although he rejected comparisons between the 20-year-old and Didier Drogba.
“We have to respect Didier, because Didier’s unique in Chelsea history,” said Mourinho. “And we have to respect Lukaku and the best way to respect Lukaku is not to compare him with a legend of Chelsea Football Club.
‘The kid is good. Of course Lukaku can challenge Torres. He is learning to play the way I want.”
John Terry believes he is back to full fitness and ready to compete for a starting place next season, after falling out of favour under Rafa Benitez last year. Mourinho has warned Terry he will not be assured of a place in his first team, but the 32-year-old is prepared to fight his way into the side.
Chelsea are confident they will be able to sign Wayne Rooney from Manchester United this summer, and are reportedly lining up a £24million bid for the striker. Manchester United’s pursuit of Cesc Fabregas might have a bearing on the move, with the Premier League champions apparently prepared to let Rooney leave for Chelsea if the sign the Barcelona midfielder.
Andre Schurrle is hoping to secure himself a place in Germany’s squad for the World Cup next summer by impressing in his debut year at Chelsea. The 22-year-old joined the Blues from Bayer Leverkusen in June, and knows he will face fierce competition for places in Chelsea’s attack.
On HITC today we look at youngster Bertrand Traore, who has impressed on Chelsea’s pre-season tour, and ask if Lukaku is ready to lead the Blues’ attack. We also report on the rumours suggesting Chelsea might try and re-sign Didier Drogba this summer.
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