As shown by Chelsea TV in their latest training ground report, those players who had not been called up by their respective national teams during this FIFA-mandated break returned to Cobham on Monday for training, joining head coach Antonio Conte, who was back from his own education vacation. The work thus begins for Saturday’s match against Leicester City up at the King Power Stadium.
Incidentally, one of the new faces at training is none other than Leicester City hero Danny Drinkwater, joining his new teammates for the first time.
The hard work continues for those not away on international duty... pic.twitter.com/TENe2Izb8C— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 4, 2017
Also training were Baba Rahman and Kylian Hazard, neither of whom are registered to play in the Premier League or Champions League, which is understandable in the latter case (Kylian’s signing basically a favor to big brother Eden) but is a bit baffling in the former — if Baba’s good enough to train with the first-team already, surely he could’ve been a more useful player than either Digeo Costa or Loïc Rémy, both of whom were on the official list while Baba was not. Sure, Baba is likely to head out on loan in January, but just be the mere fact that he’s with the team unlike the two strikers makes him a more viable option.
In any case, good to see many of the international “outcasts” — nice word choice, Daily Mail — getting back into the swing of things as the season starts in earnest. Seven matches in three weeks — the health and depth of the squad will be put to the test early and often.
(P.S.: As also mentioned by Chelsea TV’s report, Lucas Piazon has undergone successful surgery following his ankle fracture at Fulham and is now set to start his recovery.)