Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has confirmed that new signings Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell could make their debuts for the club in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup clash with Barnsley.
Chilwell arrived at Chelsea nursing a foot injury which has kept him out of action since early July, while 36-year-old Silva was deemed to be lacking in match fitness after signing from Paris Saint-Germain.
Fans are desperate to see the pair in action, with Chelsea’s defence still looking as suspect as it did last season, but the wait may be coming to an end as both players are in the squad for Wednesday’s game.
“Silva is in the squad tomorrow,” Lampard told a press conference. “He is getting fit and will make a decision on how many minutes he gets. I am not sure if that’s a birthday present or not…but he is fit!”
“Chilwell is in the squad for tomorrow, and Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech are getting closer.”
Goalkeeper Willy Caballero will start the game, which Lampard admitted he will use to build the fitness of some of his fringe players, but Chelsea could have a new goalkeeper by kick-off as Rennes’ Édouard Mendy is currently undergoing a medical ahead of completing his long-awaited transfer.
“Subject to [the medical] being okay, Mendy will be our player,” Lampard revealed. “I don’t know what benefits there are [of competition] in the long run, football is in your hands. Competition is a regular thing. We have brought Mendy in for that competition. It’s in everyone’s hands to get into the squad.
“I think it is the hardest position, because of the individual nature of it. I have to be sympathetic to that point. Last year I changed a few times, it’s a different thought process. We are always striving for the best performance.”
Mendy is not expected to need to enter a quarantine period as he has been in his own professional ‘bubble’, so assuming he passes a COVID-19 test on Thursday, he will be immediately available for selection.
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