Report: Tuchel will assess two players as potential replacements for Billy Gilmour at Chelsea

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel will assess two returning on-loan midfielders amid plans to send Billy Gilmour on loan to Norwich City, according to The Guardian.

Gilmour is now reportedly close to joining the Canaries on a season-long loan deal.

The 20-year-old is still in quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19, but will be able to undergo a medical by next Wednesday, the Guardian claims.

Interestingly, the report also mentioned that Tuchel has begun considering his midfield options for the upcoming season.

As it stands, Chelsea still have three experienced centre-midfielders at their disposal in N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, and Mateo Kovacic.

Tuchel, however, would want a fourth-option to provide cover in midfield.

Instead of spending in the transfer market, the Guardian claims that Tuchel wants to take the opportunity to assess two returning players, in particular; Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tiemoue Bakayoko.

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Loftus-Cheek spent last season at relegated Fulham.

The 25-year-old had a rather disappointing season, recording just one goal, despite playing regularly at Craven Cottage.

While Bakayoko will return to Stamford Bridge following a season at Napoli.

Given he mostly played as a defensive midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 formation, he arguably had a relatively fine season, in terms of his defensive output.

He also scored two goals and made an assist in 32 Serie A appearances (23 stars).

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Chronicle view

Unless Tuchel wants a new starting centre-midfielder, having either Loftus-Cheek or Bakayoko as a fourth-choice midfielder could be an option.

Loftus-Cheek’s inclusion in the squad would make more sense, however, given his contract situation.

The England international still has three years left in his contract at Chelsea (until 2024).

On the other hand, Bakayoko has entered the final year of his contract, and the club might want to cash in on him instead.

According to Sky Sports, the 26-year-old has attracted interest from AC Milan.

A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.