Chelsea’s final game of the 2018-19 season was only three weeks ago, but the first preseason match of the 2019-20 season is now just a month away and preseason itself will start probably well before that friendly in Japan against Kawasaki Frontale on July 19.
But for some players, even those without international commitments, there’s been even less of a break. Antonio Rudiger, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek had all picked up significant injuries in the final few weeks of the season, but they’re now all back on the long road to recovery. The Academy pair have in fact turned up Cobham for some fitness work, as documented by Hudson-Odoi in his Instagram story.
Unfortunately, none of three are expected to be back in time for the first few games. Rudiger is making sure he recovers fully this time, and while Hudson-Odoi’s Achilles injury was less severe than Loftus-Cheek, neither are expected to be back fully fit and playing for at least 2-3 more months.
From what I understand is that Hudson Odoi is trying to get fit the preseason but it looks more like October. Loftus Cheek probably looking at December.— Frank Khalid (@FrankKhalidUK) June 19, 2019
Last season, Chelsea were set to start preseason on July 2, but pushed that back a week to July 9 due to all the shenanigans with Conte and Sarri, leaving just five weeks to prepare altogether (including the first few days taken by Conte, then all the overseas trips and World Cup commitments, and so on and so forth) — a factor that Sarri had repeatedly blamed for our lack of consistency and execution.
Presumably, this season we’re looking at a similar timeline. The Premier League season starts the weekend of August 9, same as last year. All the more reason to push the Lampard (or whoever) appointment through as soon as possible, and then get to sorting out all the squad concerns. It’s going to be a tough season at Chelsea; no need to make it even tougher by wasting most of the summer once again.