Jose Mourinho has said that Didier Drogba, John Obi Mikel and Eden Hazard still need far more training before they are ready for the new campaign.
Jose Mourinho has revealed that Didier Drogba, John Obi Mikel and Eden Hazard are still some way off being able to be fit enough to represent Chelsea.
The trio all played a part of the Blues’ 3-0 friendly defeat to Werder Bremen yesterday, but none are close to being sharp enough to play regular first-team football just yet, after missing much of pre-season so far, Mourinho revealed.
All three were given an extended break after representing their respective countries at the World Cup and they now appear some way behind the rest of the Chelsea squad in terms of fitness.
“Drogba, Mikel and Hazard have only had two days training, this was the third for them, they are not in condition to play football,” Mourinho said.
It is hoped that all three will be firing on all cylinders when the Premier League campaign kicks off again, though.
Hazard is considered one of Chelsea’s major stars now – with his dynamic performances last season establishing him as one of the best players in England.
The Beglian winger managed to score 14 goals last campaign and he will have to build on that total if Chelsea are to meet their expectations and lift the title.
Meanwhile, Drogba and Mikel are likely to play more rotational roles. Drogba’s return to Stamford Bridge came as somewhat of a surprise this summer, but the departure of Romelu Lukaku last week means that he will get some first-team exposure this year.
He will be utilised as cover for Diego Costa, Chelsea’s big-money buy this summer, but with only Fernando Torres also in reserve, Mourinho will be hoping that Drogba can rekindle some of the old form he has shown in England’s top flight.
Mikel, too, will be a back-up player for the upcoming season. The defensive midfielder has seen his future come into question after a series of indifferent performances in recent times, but looks set to be staying for the time being.
He will have his work cut out finding first-team appearances, though, as the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Nemanja Matic and Ramires are all ahead of him in the pecking order for a place in his preferred position.