Chelsea F.C. N’Golo Kane and Ruben LoftusCheek were two of the big names who missed Chelsea’s preseason tour to the USA. Their absences were explained by a casual mention made on the Chelsea website that they are not vaccinated (and therefore are not permitted to enter the United States).
There are more issues than just the decision to not take the vaccine. They also have to consider their absence from preseason training, conditioning, team building, and preparations for it. They have been training with the Development Squad, and did take part in Friday’s Boreham Wood friendly win (4-2), but it is not the same as being with Thomas Tuchel or the rest of their first-team squad.
This situation is completely out of the control of the head coach, and he is not pleased. Individual choices can be respected but in this instance, the team has suffered a relatively minor setback. This is not a good situation.
“N’Golo is getting ready to go with Ruben. Chelsea F.C. can’t be forced to get vaccinated. It is a common decision at the moment to get vaccinated. Both of the players made the decision to not get vaccinated.
We must follow the rules. They cannot join us. They are aware of the consequences. It’s not something we like. It’s not ideal, but we would love them to be here. It’s far from ideal. However, you must find a way to fix the situation.
“So they have coaches (in England). They have coaches who are from the USA and take care of them. They train with the U-23s but then they travel to the USA with the Under-19s so that they are not completely in a group. It will not compensate. It will not be the “same.”
One gets the impression that Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea F.C.) is in a worse situation than Loftus-Cheek with Kante’s spot in the squad clearly assured. RLC’s versatility was a benefit last season but it has not been enough to make up for the lack of indispensability. We might be able even to give a positive spin to things for NG.
“For N’Golo it may not be the worst thing to make, so we can give him an individual load. He will have a very, very individual load. Maybe we can make a disadvantage an advantage?
“I don’t believe he needs a long time for adapting to our game in particular because N’Golo’s N’Golo. Everyone is aware that he’s a key player. If you want to win big stuff, he must be a key participant.”