A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea ahead of their Capital One Cup quarter final at Elland Road.
Ahead of the Capital One Cup clash tonight, Leeds midfielder Lee Peltier has said that he believes it’s a good time to be playing Chelsea due to their indifferent form and possible tiredness after the Club World Cup. Chelsea lost to Corinthians in Japan on Sunday, and then had to change their travel plans when their flight home was delayed.
Leeds manager Neil Warnock has said that he believes the Blues are missing their talismanic striker Didier Drogba, and he is relieved his side won’t be facing the Ivorian tonight.
“They have clearly missed some experienced players through injury this season, but if I was Chelsea manager the one I’d miss most is Didier Drogba. I would have done anything to keep him if I was at Chelsea and yet they let him leave on a free transfer.”
Another striker who might be leaving Chelsea in the first few days of January is Daniel Sturridge, with reports suggesting a deal has already been done with Liverpool to take the England player to Anfield. The transfer fee is believed to be in the region of £12 million.
With Sturridge likely to leave, Chelsea are mulling over their transfer targets for next month, with Benitez saying he will have talks with technical director Michael Emenalo after the Leeds match:
“Hopefully we have two or three days after this game where we'll have plenty of time to talk about names.
There's no formal meeting because we can chat every day. Michael is watching the training session and we talk every day - about players and how the team is doing.”
There have been reports that following the sale of Daniel Sturridge, the signing of Radamel Falcao will start a massive January spending spree at Chelsea, with plenty of attacking players on the club’s radar.
Rafa Benitez has dismissed the idea that there is a rift between him and Oscar, saying that the midfielder was just unhappy to be left out of the starting line-up for the final of the Club World Cup. Benitez went on to say that it would be a far bigger problem if Oscar was content to sit on the bench.
Josh McEachran is reportedly planning talks with Chelsea over the coming weeks during which he will state his desire to complete his season long loan at Middlesbrough. There have been rumours the midfielder will be recalled to Chelsea in January, but he is keen to stay and contribute to Middlesbrough’s promotion push.
image: © Ben Sutherland