Like Baba Rahman, who has all but signed for Schalke 04 on loan, American center-back Matt Miazga is another first-team player from last season who has barely featured in pre-season. Other than a 1-minute cameo against Wolfsberger AC, the 21-year-old has only been involved in a behind-closed-doors friendly against an Austrian fourth division side. Last season, Miazga made just two appearances after joining in January, and was not seen again after his nervy showing against Swansea City.
While in Ann Arbor, MI, Miazga was quizzed about his short-term future at the club. He claimed that he was not aware of any plans the club might have for him just yet, a sentiment that was later repeated by head coach Antonio Conte as well.
"About [Miazga's] situation, I prefer to speak with the club. With the club, we are agreed that after this period, and after I have seen the situation with the players, we must take together the right decision for the player, for the club. It's important this."
- Antonio Conte; source: ESPN
In the same report, Miazga was said to be doing well in training and just waiting for an opportunity to play, having improved his communication and on-field awareness since arriving at Chelsea.
"There's different philosophies and methods; attacking philosophies and the way we're defending, our shape and all that stuff."
"We're working hard to fulfill that philosophy and continue to work. It's preseason, so there's obviously going to be some moments where we can improve."
- Matt Miazga; source: ESPN
Chelsea's center-back situation, like many other positions in the lineup, isn't exactly ideal. The two starters right now seem to be John Terry and Gary Cahill -- a partnership that was exposed as not nearly good enough anymore last season. Great big hope Kurt Zouma's injured and won't be back for a few more months, and while Branislav Ivanovic is capable at center back, he seems to be back to playing right back instead.
Chelsea brought Miazga, Michael Hector, and young Fikayo Tomori on the USA Tour, leaving Papy Djilobodji back in England and probably looking at a loan or sale. There's certainly a spot on the team right now for either Miazga or Hector, though that's assuming none of the transfer targets whom we are chasing (Kouibaly & Co) pan out. Perhaps we're waiting for those situations to resolve themselves before making a decision on Matt.
Either way, he could use a bit of pre-season match action, no?