Thomas Tuchel backs N’Golo Kante and Loftus-Cheek after missing preseason tour amid COVID vaccination status

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Thomas Tuchel “does not blame” N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek for missing Chelsea’s trip to the United States due to their lack of vaccinations.

Thomas Tuchel backs N'Golo Kante and Loftus-Cheeks after missing preseason tour amid COVID vaccination status

The pair, who were unable to travel to the US because they are not fully immunized, will nonetheless be prepared for the upcoming season, according to Tuchel.

“We don’t blame people and don’t put the finger on them,” said Tuchel.

The midfielders will miss three friendlies as well as a week of preseason practice with the team in Los Angeles.

The Blues take against Club America of Mexico on July 17 in Las Vegas, Charlotte FC on July 21 at their Bank of America Stadium, and Arsenal on July 23 in Orlando.

“There’s a personal decision to take and both of them took their personal decision,” added Tuchel.

“It doesn’t matter if I understand it, if I like it or, for the professional life, it’s a disadvantage right now.

“We would have liked both of them here but once we knew, we needed to provide the best solution, which is to provide training at Cobham on a high physical level. They will be fit when we are back there.”

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Kante, 31, has had knee issues for the past two seasons and missed significant portions of the most recent Premier League season.

Going into December, Chelsea was in first place, but while Kante was injured, they lost ground to Manchester City and never regained first place.

A knee ailment forced the France midfielder, who has one year left on his Chelsea contract, to withdraw from his nation’s Nations League team last month.

Kante will be a “important figure” for Stamford Bridge this season, according to Tuchel, who thinks specialized preseason training at Cobham would be helpful.

But because the 31-player group is returning from the US two weeks before the start of the new Premier League season, he will miss tactical meetings with his teammates.

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Thomas Tuchel backs N'Golo Kante and Loftus-Cheeks after missing preseason tour amid COVID vaccination status

“N’Golo knows what pre-season is all about and for him especially it gives us the possibility to build him up very individually,” Tuchel added.

“He has coaches there in London who take care of him and he is integrated in the Under-23 and Under-19 training so he also has team training.

“We need N’Golo to have more minutes on the pitch. He is one of our key figures and the key players need to be on the pitch otherwise they cannot be key players, so this is how we are handling things at the moment.”

On Friday night, Kante and Loftus-Cheek both participated in a 4-2 victory for a Chelsea XI over Boreham Wood.

What happened to Loftus-Cheeks and Kante?

Due to a lack of Covid vaccines, NGolo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were excluded from Chelsea’s preseason tour of the United States.

Except for inhabitants of the nation and a small number of other people, all visitors over the age of 18 must be dual-vaccinated against the virus in order to enter the United States.

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A 29-man roster of players that will face Premier League rivals Arsenal in Florida, Club America in Las Vegas, and Charlotte FC in Los Angeles were released by the team earlier this month.

Before the Champions League group stage encounter against Juventus, Kante and Loftus-Cheek both tested positive for COVID-19 in August of last year.

The team’s manager, Thomas Tuchel, stated at the time that he had no idea how many of his players had taken shots and that, even though he did, he would not force anyone else to do the same.

Chelsea will depart on Saturday and spend a week at a training camp in Los Angeles prior to their opening game.

American international Christian Pulisic has been added by Thomas Tuchel to a strong traveling squad that also includes Thiago Silva, Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Reece James, and Kai Havertz.

Thomas Tuchel backs N'Golo Kante and Loftus-Cheeks after missing preseason tour amid COVID vaccination status

Ben Chilwell, a left-back, and Callum Hudson-Odoi, a winger, are both a part of the 29-man squad that will play three games in the United States beginning on July 16 versus Club America. Both players missed large periods of the previous season due to injuries.

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