Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that tireless midfielder N’Golo Kanté is likely to return to action when his side’s face local rivals Arsenal at Emirates on Sunday afternoon.
Kanté, 30, missed Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Crystal Palace at the weekend, due to suffered issue during the UEFA Super Cup final triumph over Villarreal in Belfast, where he was substituted in the 65th minute.
The energetic operator who dominated middle of park against La-Liga outfits during his time on the pitch, picked up an ankle problem, but hopes he can return for the London derby at Emirates Stadium, according to his boss Thomal Tuchel.
He said: ‘N’Golo felt discomfort in his ankle on Friday,’ said Tuchel. ‘He felt it in the warm-up to the Super Cup match against Villarreal and he already played a little bit in pain and overcame the pain in that game.
‘But on Friday he felt it again and we decided to take him out and not to take any risk now at the beginning of the season. I think N’Golo will be back in the middle of the week to hopefully be ready for Arsenal.’
The Blues boss also confirmed Romelu Lukaku will be able to make his second Chelsea debut against Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal on Sunday.
The Belgian striker, who completed his £98million return to Stamford Bridge on Thursday, missed Saturday’s clash against Palace due to current Covid-19 protocols.
However, Lukaku is expected to coming out of quarantine on Monday and Tuchel said: ‘On Tuesday, he will join in team training because Monday is a day off (for everyone else). We will prepare him to be ready for Arsenal. Hopefully, he can be on the pitch.’
The 28-year-old frontman formerly represented the Premier League club between 2011 and 2014, spending most of that period out on loan.
Following loan spells at West Brom and Everton, Lukaku joined the latter on a permanent deal, before transferring to Manchester United in 2017.
He would leave Old Trafford after two seasons, moving to Inter Milan in August 2019.
In his first campaign with the Italian side, Lukaku scored 34 goals in all competitions to match a club record set by Ronaldo in 1997/98.
Last season, the 28-year-old netted 24 times and recorded 10 assists in Serie A as he helped Inter to their first league title since 2010 – the club’s first trophy in a decade.