Thomas Tuchel rules out using new signing to solve defender shortage | Football

Marc Cucurella made his Chelsea debut last week following his move from Brighton

Marc Cucurella made his Chelsea debut last week following his move from Brighton (Image: Getty)

Thomas Tuchel has confirmed he wants to sign one more centre-half this summer and cannot use new signing Marc Cucurella as an emergency centre-back alongside club captain Cesar Azpilicueta as a short-term solution.

Chelsea secured the signing of the Spanish left-back earlier this month after agreeing a £63m fee with Brighton.

Eyebrows were raised at the award, particularly given the return to full fitness of Ben Chilwell, who missed the majority of last season with a serious knee injury.

The England international started his first competitive game for over nine months, ahead of Cucurella, at Everton last week and made way for the final 15 minutes as his new team-mate made his debut in a hard-fought 1-0 at Goodison.

Tuchel has spent much of this summer trying to make up for the losses of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, who both left as free agents after their contracts expired.

Kalidou Koulibaly emerges as an ideal like-for-like Rudiger replacement, but an alternative to Christensen has been harder to find.

Jules Konde eventually moved to Barcelona from Sevilla after appearing on the brink of a move to Stamford Bridge, and attention has now shifted to Leicester’s Wesley Fofana.

Tuchel stopped short of confirming Chelsea’s interest in Fofana but admitted he needed another conventional centre-half given the profile of his current defensive options.

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Chelsea have been boosted by Cesar Azpilcueta's renewed commitment

Chelsea have been boosted by Cesar Azpilcueta’s renewed commitment (Image: Getty)

“We could use one more central defender as we play with a back three,” Tuchel said ahead of this weekend’s London derby against Spurs.

The profile of the guys in the back three is a bit different. We play with Azpilicueta, who is more of a right back. We could use one more, let’s see what happens.

‘With Cucurella it is possible, but both cannot, for example, play as centre-backs.

‘We could strengthen our squad with depth, but that’s one thing you want and one thing that’s possible. We are looking for top quality and top level competitors.

‘You don’t always get what you want, which is why we are calm and ambitious. Everything is possible until the end.’

MORE: Mateo Kovacic ruled out of Chelsea clash with Tottenham due to knee injury

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