sport news Chelsea's deadwood are back training and are fighting for their futures

sport news Chelsea's deadwood are back training and are fighting for their futures
sport news Chelsea's deadwood are back training and are fighting for their futures

Chelsea fans will have been forgiven for playing a game of Guess Who? between themselves as they looked at pre-season training pics.

There was Matt Miazga alongside Baba Rahman, Lewis Baker, Davide Zappacosta and Danny Drinkwater, to name a few.

None of them were part of the side which went on to win last season's UEFA Champions League and given the quality available to boss Thomas Tuchel, it would be miraculous if any could force their way back into contention.  

Thomas Tuchel (middle) cast his eye over some of Chelsea's forgotten men during training

Thomas Tuchel (middle) cast his eye over some of Chelsea's forgotten men during training 

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The sessions are an opportunity for people like Matt Miazga to make an impression on Tuchel

The sessions are an opportunity for people like Matt Miazga to make an impression on Tuchel

But don't rule it out. 

Youngsters like Malang Sarr and others such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek will feel they can make a lasting impression given they are on longer deals.

Others are entering the final year of their Chelsea contracts and know they need to impress or risk seeing their Blues career go out on a whimper.

Sportsmail looks at the players jockeying to impress Tuchel and whether they have what it takes to turn their Chelsea careers around.  

MALANG SARR 

Age - 22 

Deal expires - June 2025

Certainly not a piece of 'deadwood' but the 22-year-old knows he won't want to allow himself to fall into that category.

After running down his contract at Nice in France last summer he was picked up on a free by the Blues before being shipped out to Porto on loan. 

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It was a less-than-thrilling spell in Portugal but it provided Sarr with an opportunity to pick up valuable Champions League experience - he was in the side that helped eliminate Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus in the last-16.

Seen as one for the future, Sarr may find opportunities hard to come by and whether Porto are keen or not, another loan seems far more likely than penetrating a Chelsea back-three of Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Thiago Silva. 

Malang Sarr (left) is a young prospect that must beware of being caught up with multiple loans

Malang Sarr (left) is a young prospect that must beware of being caught up with multiple loans

TREVOH CHALOBAH 

Age - 22 

Deal expires - June 2023

The key word with Chalobah is versatility and that makes him an interesting proposition to many clubs. 

Comfortable in midfield or defence, the England Under-21 international is another set to have to find opportunities elsewhere given the amount of stars ahead of him in both positions. 

The Express and Star have reported that West Brom have held 'positive' talks with Chalobah but they face competition from newly-promoted Brentford. 

The 22-year-old has had three loan spells away from Stamford Bridge already in his career at Ipswich, Huddersfield and most recently Lorient in France. Seemingly the next step is a Premier League loan, much like Billy Gilmour after he joined Norwich. 

Trevor Chalobah is versatile in midfield and defence and is attracting a number of suitors

Trevor Chalobah is versatile in midfield and defence and is attracting a number of suitors

JAKE CLARKE-SALTER

Age - 23 

Deal expires - June 2022

Five loan spells at four clubs means Clarke-Salter has barely had chance to get familiar with the first team training set-up at Chelsea's Cobham base.

The Chelsea academy product has had time at Bristol Rovers, Sunderland, Vitesse and Birmingham City.

Unlike Sarr and Chalobah, Clarke-Salter is out of contract at the end of this upcoming season and he knows time is running out if he is to break into the first team.

The central defender enjoyed success in his first season on loan at Birmingham but was less of a hit second time round and with Tuchel's eyes on him, this is a big summer for the 23-year-old.  

Jake Clarke-Salter (right) finds himself out of contract at the end of the current season

Jake Clarke-Salter (right) finds himself out of contract at the end of the current season

CHARLY MUSONDA 

Age - 24

Deal expires - June 2022

When Musonda's name is ran through Google there is a question prompt: 'Is Charly Musonda still at Chelsea?'

Clearly people aren't sure, given the question, but yes, he is. For another 12 months contractually. 

The issue Musonda has battled with has been injuries. It is staggering to think the attacking midfielder has not played consecutive games in the last four years.

Things just haven't clicked since joining from Anderlecht in 2012 as a youth player - aged 15 -  but this is a big opportunity, even if there is a huge queue for positions in attack.

'When he was recruited, arguably at the time he was the best under-16 in world football, not just in Europe,' former Chelsea youth coach Adi Viveash told the Athletic in 2019. 'You're talking about a special talent.'

The hope is his injury woes are behind him and he can really be the one to seize his opportunity in the eyes of Tuchel. It's been a while, no doubt, but his talent is not the part in question here - it's his fitness.  

Much is expected of Charly Musonda now he is healthy again after awful luck with injuries

Much is expected of Charly Musonda now he is healthy again after awful luck with injuries

RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK 

Age - 25 

Deal expires - June 2024 

'Fighting is a way of life,' Loftus-Cheek wrote on Instagram this week along some pre-season imagery.

Cryptic... in a way. But it also spoke to just how important this summer is for a player that is running out of time to make his mark. 

His loan move at Fulham last season, in which they got relegated, didn't bring the level of success both sides will have hoped for. 

It will be interesting to see if he will play a key role in Saturday's first friendly against Peterborough United and whether there are any early indicators about Tuchel's plan for the midfielder. 

Given his contract is to run until June 2024 it seems like Loftus-Cheek will be shopped around and sold rather than sent on another loan given he is no longer in the infancy of his career. 

He's got a fight on his hands to impress - and he knows it.  

Ruben Loftus-Cheek struggled to ignite at Fulham and knows pre-season is huge for him

Ruben Loftus-Cheek struggled to ignite at Fulham and knows pre-season is huge for him

MATT MIAZGA 

Age - 25

Deal expires - June 2022

There will no doubt be a quiz question in years to come about the Unites States defender who became the unofficial head of Chelsea's bloated 'loan army'. 

Miazga joined Chelsea in 2016 from New York Red Bulls before being moved around leagues

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