Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea at risk of losing key player in next few games
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has virtually confirmed that Thiago Silva will miss their Premier League clash with Brentford due to travelling for international duty.
The 37-year-old centre-back was close to getting a five-day ban last month after Premier League clubs, including Chelsea, made a collective decision not to release players for international duty if they were to travel to the UK government’s red-list countries.
Fortunately, the Brazilian football federation eventually dropped its demand that FIFA impose the ban.
As a result, Silva was able to play and has featured in six games for Chelsea in all competitions since.
The Brazil captain, however, will now travel to his home country for three World Cup qualifying games — and Tuchel is clearly not very happy about it.
“He will go, and then he will play for Brazil, and then he will come back on the matchday versus Brentford,” the German told Chelsea’s official website.
“This is the life of international breaks in 2021. Like it or not, what can I do?
“He’s our player, and he arrives on the matchday back from a country where he then needs to do quarantine.
“Is this a good solution for us as a club? No, but we cannot hold him back. It’s impossible.”
UK government’s Covid rule change
Brazil will play against Uruguay on Friday (BST), just a day before Brentford’s visit to Stamford Bridge. So it is safe to assume that he will not make it for the game.
Tuchel also hinted that the defender might have to quarantine, and that could prove troublesome.
Silva could miss the next three to four games if he was to the UK government’s 10-day quarantine rule.
He might not have to undergo a quarantine, however.
Given the number of South American internationals in the Premier League, whose home countries are mostly on the red list, the UK government has announced new rules to allow these players to be exempt from quarantine (via The Guardian).
Players who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be allowed to train and play in games from the day they return, but will still be confined to “bespoke quarantine facilities” for the 10-day period.
Although, stricter conditions will apply for those not fully vaccinated.