Thomas Tuchel said Chelsea had no regrets about allowing Conor Gallagher to join Crystal Palace on loan despite his midfield injury fears.
Gallagher has shone with Palace, recently scoring twice in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Everton to become the season’s top scorer with six goals so far in the Premier League.
Tuchel did not elaborate on the terms of Gallagher’s loan deal, although a recall in January appears highly unlikely given that the two clubs had agreed on his playing time – an agreement that Palace would fulfill.
Chelsea have at times been light in midfield with both N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic injured this season, but Tuchel said that factor could not make them regret the summer’s decision to let Gallagher go.
“I’ve said many times how much we love Conor, and how well he is doing. Nothing has changed, we see his goals and his level of performance all the time,” Tuchel said.
“No regrets at all because it seemed like the perfect situation for him and we basically discussed the best option for him in the summer.
“You can’t take the circumstances now and doubt a decision from July, it simply isn’t possible. We did what we did, and we’re happy with him because he’s working for Connor.
“We need to sort out our problems. We’re a little unlucky to have injuries in the middle, and we’re struggling with that, but that has nothing to do with Connor.”
Tuchel revealed that Kante will be on the bench to face Everton on Thursday, adding that Kovacic will return to training on Friday after Covid injury by postponing his return from injury.
Meanwhile, Tuchel was also asked about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was stripped of the Arsenal captaincy on Tuesday.
Tuchel worked with Aubameyang at Borussia Dortmund, and the German said he would contact the striker but would not judge Arsenal for their decision.
He said: I will [talk to him] At some point, but I don’t want to bother. He was a very important player for me, we had a very close relationship. Today when we meet, it’s still very nice, I can only say the best things about Oba as a player and as a person.
“I feel sorry for him that he’s in trouble, because that’s not where he should be with that kind of quality and that’s not the character he has – I still believe in that.
“But I’m not involved in what’s going on at his club. I want to show my respect and not judge what’s right or wrong.”
“The Outlaw Quartet I know we appreciate.”
Tuchel said the defending quartet, whose contract expires next summer, all know the club “appreciate them”.
The deals of Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta expire at the end of the season, and they will be free to discuss summer moves with overseas clubs from January.
Asked if he was concerned that these players might soon talk to other clubs, Tuchel said: “No, not much. I was scared when you told me, but that feeling will go away again.
“These players know very well how much we value them, and the big role they play in our plans and in the existence of this team.
“They are very aware of that. Of course it is their right to do things, but it is also their right to stay with us and create the future – be part of the future of Chelsea Football Club.
“We are honored with patience, trust and confidence in the relationship between the players, the staff, the players and the club, and this is what it should be.”
Tuchel also said he was unlikely to take the case of vaccination into account when it came to potential transfers in January, although he went on to say additions are unlikely.
And he added, “I don’t think so, because where are you going to end up? Vaccination is still a free choice, we’re still free, adults. Everyone has to choose.”
“These are weird and crazy times, we need to be very careful, but it hasn’t worked out like that here. We are not in talks now where we bring in players because we trust our team first and foremost and hopefully we can bring our players back to their full strength. We have Strong team.”