Thomas Tuchel confirms one of his Chelsea players who started at West Ham is 'out' for Zenit clash

Thomas Tuchel told reporters ahead of the Champions League matchup between Chelsea and Zenit St Petersburg that Jorginho will be unavailable.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Tuchel clarified that the Italian international would be ‘out’ for tomorrow’s European tie due to back problems.

The German coach gave a similar update on his player following the 3-2 loss to West Ham United last weekend.

“Also, Jorginho is playing with a little pain for many days, and you can see it,” explained the Blues boss.

Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Jorginho running out of juice

Now, it appears the little pain has turned into a big dilemma for the 29-year-old.

An issue that Tuchel claimed had been caused by Jorginho’s lack of rest in the past 12 months.

He said: “If you see Jorginho doing a mistake like this, I don’t think we have a structural or behavioural problem, it’s more a technical, decision-making problem.

“This refers also to mental and physical fatigue. If you see now for example that Jorginho is out for his back pain, then you know that he played with back pain at West Ham United.

“He played because we missed Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante for such a long time.

“So this is what I meant. Sometimes you overload players, you overplay players.

“Especially with Jorgi. He’s come from a Euros, he comes from Champions League, he comes straight away with no pre-season into Super Cup final.

“We knew this that in some weeks he will face maybe a dip of freshness, a dip of form.”

Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

In need of a holiday

It’s been a tough few weeks for Jorginho, which may have something to do with the pain in his back.

The UEFA Men’s Player of the Year was at fault for Manchester United’s opener at the end of November.

Then, he played an unwanted part in West Ham’s first goal at the weekend, putting Edouard Mendy in danger thanks to an under-hit-back pass.

Perhaps this injury will be the best thing for the European Championship winner.

It might give him that extra rest period his body requires, a break he’s rarely been afforded in recent times.

Unfortunately, due to Kante and Kovacic’s absences, Tuchel probably won’t let Jorginho put his feet up for long.

Shortly after the trip to Russia, Chelsea host Leeds United in the Premier League, an occasion heaped with more significance than usual, as the Blues aim to reclaim top spot in the table.

Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.