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PICTURES: Kovačić, Arrizabalaga join Chelsea training for first time

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The hard work’s just beginning

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

As the Premier League’s transfer window wound down on Thursday, Chelsea were hard at work not only on the fax machines and interview rooms but on the training pitch as well. After all, the season starts on Saturday, with a trip up to Huddersfield and pre-season hasn’t exactly been all-conquering. There’s plenty of work to do and not just in terms of getting the new signings up to speed.

In fact, one of the new signings is ahead of some of Chelsea’s most important players already, certainly in terms of fitness. Kepa Arrizabalaga had been training with Athletic Bilbao for almost three weeks now, so he’s expected to be ready to go on Saturday already.

The same can’t be said of Mateo Kovačić, who admitted that he wasn’t exactly knee-deep in training as he tried to engineer a move away from Real Madrid. But that just puts him in a similar boat to the likes of N’Golo Kanté and Eden Hazard who have been back in training for less than a week.

So, as exciting as the last 48-72 hours have been, it’s now back to the harsh reality of the Premier League season, where only hard work can fix problems.

Here are a few pictures from Thursday’s training, with the two new arrivals joining a few familiar faces, including Tiemoué Bakayoko and Victor Moses, both of whom were linked with moves away at the same time in the rumor mill.