Thomas Tuchel says Romelu Lukaku will join up with the Chelsea squad on Monday after completing his five days of quarantine.
The Blues finally announced the re-signing of the Belgian star on Thursday in a deal that football.london understands is worth around £98million.
Lukaku arrived in England on Wednesday to seal his move but had to enter a five-day period of self-isolation as he travelled from a country – Italy – that is currently on the British government’s amber list.
That has ruled him out of making his debut against Crystal Palace tomorrow in Chelsea’s Premier League opener.
However, Tuchel says the 28-year-old will link up with the Blues squad on Monday and will be in contention to feature against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in a little over a week’s time.
“We were not fast enough so that he could play on Wednesday or tomorrow,” Tuchel explained when speaking to the press this afternoon.
“Romelu is still on quarantine and following the protocols. He will be out on Monday and undertake training with us next week. He will play for us against Arsenal. This is the plan.”
The Chelsea head coach continued: “We always try to do it as fast as possible, and the sooner the better. If we could’ve wished for something, we’d have wished for him to be on the pitch for Wednesday. Every game counts and I’m more happy and sad now, it’s what I demand from myself to adapt.
“We managed to get a big transfer target that we had with the profile we were searching for. So I’m grateful and happy and if things go as normal, he will be on the pitch against Arsenal.”
Chelsea will not go into the opening game of their top-flight campaign in perfect shape. Not only will Lukaku be absent but Hakim Ziyech is also ruled out for the game having injured his shoulder in the UEFA Super Cup victory against Villarreal on Wednesday.
N’Golo Kante is also a doubt and Tuchel admits his squad will not be at peak fitness for the Eagles’ visit to Stamford Bridge.
“Hakim will miss the game for sure because of his injury,” Tuchel explained. “The decision is made, it will be treated conservatively.
“At the moment, the situation is like this and we don’t need the surgery, which is very, very good news for this kind of problem. We hope it continues like this and he can be back on the pitch in the next two weeks. We cannot promise but this is what we hope.
“We have some issues with N’Golo Kante, we need to sort it out, from the game. It is from the final. Physically it was the worst thing that could happen to us in the stages we are in right now, to play 120 minutes.
“Mentally and psychologically it was the best thing because to win on penalties gives you an enormous boost and this is a huge boost of positive energy and feelings.
“For tomorrow we have to be careful the decisions are not made yet who starts, who do we push over the line? The recommendation is for some to do 60-70 minutes, whom do we push to do another 90. It is hard to predict the physical demands from tomorrow’s game and the decisions are not made yet.
“We will take our time and do the latest decisions tomorrow. We have one more night, this is maybe the most important thing to have good sleep to eat good, drink good and overcome some difficult moments tomorrow physically.
Will it be tough? Will we be tired? Of course. Is it a close match to the final? Yes. All the reasons are there but it is our demand to ourselves to overcome these obstacles and not complain about them.
“We want to be in the best shape possible and we will have in mind that this is not the same that we are in six weeks, but for tomorrow we want to reach the 100 percent possible to be able to beat Crystal Palace.”
Source by Football London