Thomas Tuchel says it’s ‘maybe impossible’ for Chelsea to close gap to Liverpool

The German has bemoaned losing key defenders Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen this summer after being edged out by Liverpool on penalties again

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Sunday 15 May 2022 22:30
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<p>Thomas Tuchel has bemoaned Chelsea losing key players this summer</p>

Thomas Tuchel has bemoaned Chelsea losing key players this summer

Thomas Tuchel says it is “maybe impossible” to catch up with Liverpool in the space of one summer, with the Chelsea manager set to discuss plans with new owner Todd Boehly in the next few weeks.

The German pointed to how they are actually losing key players as Jurgen Klopp’s side improve, a situation that was revealed to be even more problematic as it emerged that Andreas Christensen had taken himself out of selection for the FA Cup final and was not injured.

It is claimed the Dane was feeling unwell during the week, so didn’t feel ready to play.

That means Christensen may have played his last game for Chelsea, as he is leaving Stamford Bridge out of contract in the summer, just like defensive partner Antonio Rudiger.

Chelsea drew 0-0 with Liverpool in a domestic showpiece for the second time this season, having already met them in the Carabao Cup final, only for Klopp’s team to again win on penalties that went into sudden death.

That makes it four draws between the two clubs over the course of the 2021-22 campaign, despite Tuchel’s team lying 16 points behind Liverpool in the table.

The Chelsea manager was dubious as to whether that meant they could bridge the gap.

“It’s maybe impossible,” Tuchel remarked. “I have to say, maybe impossible. They are improving their squad in every transfer window they have.

“It seems like we are losing key player. We are losing, of course, Toni, we’re losing Andreas. So this is tough and we already have gap close.”

On the day, Tuchel went with Rudiger, but Christensen did not feature.

It is understood that is because the Dane took himself out of contention. Thiago Silva ended up pulling up in the game, but played on and lasted all the way through extra-time.

Tuchel has to discuss all of this with Boehly in the next few weeks, but said their initial meeting - before the FA Cup final - was more casual.

The 48-year-old said: “Not yet, we had lunch together but it was in the room where everybody was, like players and staff.

“He was very friendly, very open and it was a very informal meeting over lunch. It was like half-an-hour, 40 minutes so it was not too detailed.

“It was just to get a feeling and say hello, and we talked more about baseball and basketball actually. It was not the moment, we will do this next week, the next weeks.”

Asked whether Boehly shares Tuchel’s ambition, the German said: “He paid some money for it, so I don’t think he is keen to drop the ambition.

“That would be a big surprise, so no I don’t doubt this. We will share our opinion in more detail over the next weeks and I am sure he is as ambitious to build a competitive Chelsea for the highest level.”

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