Thomas Tuchel rules out using new signing as short-term solution to Chelsea’s defender shortage

    Marc Cucurella made his Chelsea debut last week following his move from Brighton
    Marc Cucurella made his Chelsea debut last week following his move from Brighton (Picture: Getty)

    Thomas Tuchel has confirmed he wants to sign one more centre-half this summer and cannot use new signing Marc Cucurella as an emergency central defender in tandem with club captain Cesar Azpilicueta as a short-term solution.

    Chelsea secured the signing of the Spanish left-back earlier this month after they agreed a £63million fee with Brighton.

    Eyebrows were raised at the price, especially given the return to full fitness of Ben Chilwell, who missed the majority of last season with a serious knee injury.

    The England international started his first competitive game in over nine months, ahead of Cucurella, at Everton last week and made way for the final 15 minutes allowing his new teammate to make his debut in a hard fought 1-0 at Goodison.

    Tuchel has spent much of this summer attempting to compensate for the losses of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, both of whom left as free agents after their contracts expired.

    Kalidou Koulibaly appears an ideal like-for-like Rudiger replacement, but an alternative to Christensen has been harder to source.

    Jules Kounde eventually moved to Barcelona from Sevilla having appeared on the brink of moving to Stamford Bridge and attention has now switched to Leicester’s Wesley Fofana.

    Tuchel stopped short of confirming Chelsea’s interest in Fofana but did admit he reuiquired another conventional centre-half given the profile of his current defensive options.

    Chelsea have been boosted by Cesar Azpilcueta's renewed commitment
    Chelsea have been boosted by Cesar Azpilcueta’s renewed commitment (Picture: Getty)

    ‘We could use one more central defender, given we play with a back three,’ said Tuchel speaking ahead of this weekend’s London derby against Spurs.

    ‘The profile of the guys in the back three is a little bit different. We are playing with Azpilicueta, who is more of a right-back. We could use one more, let’s see what happens.

    ‘With Cucurella it’s possible but both of them for example cannot play as central defenders.

    ‘We could strengthen our squad with depth but it is one thing what you wish for and one that is possible. We are looking for top quality and competitors on the highest level.

    ‘You don’t always get what you wish for and that is why we are calm and ambitious. Everything is possible until the end.’

    MORE : Mateo Kovacic ruled out of Chelsea’s clash against Tottenham due to knee injury

    MORE : Newcastle United interested in Chelsea trio Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Conor Gallagher

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