Jose Mourinho spoke to the press ahead of Saturday's match against Aston Villa, and gave a brief update on Chelsea's injury situation. Here's what he had to say following the return of his players from the latest international break:
'We have only Ivanovic’s injury, and Courtois recovering, everybody else is available.'
So what is the manager planning to do in Ivanovic's absence?
'I have four solutions: I have Azpilicueta, I have the adaptation of Zouma or Ramires and I have Ola Aina, an 18-year-old who has never played a Premier League game but he’s a boy with lots of potential. He’s also an option.'
'It depends on matches, opponents, the moment, but we have solutions.'
Presumably, Azpilicueta moving to right back would mean Baba Rahman at left back, something the majority of the fan base seems to prefer. It probably wouldn't surprise anyone to see one of Kurt Zouma or Ramires plying right back instead, however, while Aina would appear to be a long shot, more likely to get a cameo if the situation presents itself.
Meanwhile, a different academy product looks set to see his role at Chelsea increase:
'Ruben has been with us since January, working with us every day, having the opportunity to play some matches, having an evolution physically, mentally, tactically. I think he’s going to be a really top player. He’s ready.'
Jose didn't mention specifically who would be making way for Ruben, but given the fact that Nemanja Matic seems to be in the doghouse at the moment, I'd assume it's not Cesc Fabregas making way.Regardless, it would be nice to see Loftus-Cheek make the most of his chance, giving the Blues a homegrown regular in the squad.