Raheem Sterling will make his first Chelsea appearance against Charlotte as Thomas Tuchel reflects on Koulibaly decision

The £47.5million signing from Manchester City has been training with his new club for almost a week and is ready to face MLS.

However, the 31-year-old will likely be shortlisted after taking part in just two training sessions in Orlando before the team flew out to play at Bank of America Stadium.

“Raheem is absolutely ready to go tomorrow. He will be on the pitch tomorrow and I’m happy about that and he’s excited to play his first game,” Tuchel said from the team’s training camp in Florida on Tuesday.

On Koulibaly’s availability, he said: “Yeah, we’re a bit torn and I have to talk to him to be honest, about what we’ll be doing tomorrow. We will decide later in the afternoon.

“He’s done a few training sessions with us but he’s still on a very individual program so no double pitch sessions. He trains with the team but of course, as you can imagine, some players are in their third week of preparation and on a completely different level of foundation physically.

“It’s not a good game for him to start straight away and play straight away. I don’t want to rule him out completely but it’s very likely he won’t play, [that] we will not see it on the field.

“And I’m happy because he’s a calm guy and you see his quality on the pitch, his leadership. He has a certain personality that you feel when he’s there and he’s good for us.

Chelsea’s new owners Boehly-Clearlake are now working behind the scenes to sign several new players.

Talks around Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and Paris Saint-Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe are key to Tuchel’s plans for this club.

He wants at least three players before the end of the transfer window and reiterated that stance on Tuesday night.

“I think we need a few more players to improve the team. We were third last season, we can discuss the reasons endlessly but in general there is a gap between us, Liverpool and Manchester City,” he continued.

“We want to move forward and not stand still because teams can overtake you. Given the situation in which we have lost players, it makes good sense to bring new quality to the team to even maintain our level. That’s the situation.

standard Sport

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