Thomas Tuchel reflects on Chelsea's pre-season defeat to Arsenal
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Former Chelsea target Ousmane Dembele showed the Blues what they have missed out on by scoring two excellent goals for Barcelona in a pre-season clash with Juventus. Chelsea were one of the clubs interested in a move for Dembele when his contract expired at the end of last season, with Thomas Tuchel desperate to strengthen his attack.
The 25-year-old winger decided to extend his deal with Barca and struck a fantastic brace during their friendly against Juve. Los Blaugrana drew 2-2 with the Serie A side – with Everton flop Moise Kean also scoring twice in the game.
Dembele opened the scoring when he weaved away from two defenders and blasted an effort across goal with his right foot. He then proved his ambidextrous ability in an almost identical move, with him ultimately chopping onto his left foot and curling into the corner of the net.
Chelsea boss Tuchel previously worked with Dembele at Borussia Dortmund and was keen on a reunion this summer. The West Londoners ended up signing Raheem Sterling from Manchester City but a free transfer move for Dembele was enticing.
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They could not convince the France international to move to Stamford Bridge, though, and he ended up remaining at Barca. It concluded a lengthy saga in which Dembele initially seemed to prefer leaving Camp Nou for a new challenge.
Chelsea and Tuchel have endured a frustrating summer, in which they have been turned down by several targets despite a necessity for several reinforcements. Jules Kounde became the latest star to opt for Barca over Chelsea and is set to join the Spanish side from La Liga rivals Sevilla.
Tuchel has publicly urged the Stamford Bridge hierarchy to speed up their business ahead of the Premier League campaign. Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly are the club’s only signings this summer.
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“Unfortunately, it proved my point and the last week proves my point. I feel I was right when I look at the last season and at the parts of the game where we struggled and how we struggled,” Tuchel said of the lack of transfer activity after a 4-0 friendly demolition by Arsenal.
“We got sanctioned and players left us, we know that some players are trying to leave us, and this is where it is. We had an urgent appeal for quality players and a huge amount of quality players.
“We’ve got two quality players – that is no doubt – but we are not competitive like this and unfortunately, we could see it today.”
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