Friday 24 November 2017

Jose Mourinho faces Chelsea defensive crisis before Premier League even starts

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is weighing up his options at left-back
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is weighing up his options at left-back

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho appears to be considering fielding prodigious youngster Bertrand Traore at left-back due to his lack of defensive options.

Traore, a 19-year-old Burkino Faso international, is more often a forward, but played on the left side of defence in Wednesday night's friendly loss to Fiorentina at Stamford Bridge.

Traore told Chelsea TV: "I didn't mind about the position. I just tried my best.

READ MORE: Jose Mourinho: 'Winning the title will be harder this season'

"I play as a winger. Sometimes I can be in this position (left-back), even in training. It was a little bit different."

Cesar Azpilicueta is Mourinho's only regular left-back among his five first-team defenders after the departure of Filipe Luis.

Centre-back Kurt Zouma came on for the Spaniard in last Sunday's Community Shield loss to Arsenal and is another option.

Mourinho has spoken of his desire to add to his defensive options before Saturday's Premier League season-opener with Swansea, but insists his focus is not on the transfer window.

Traore impressed Mourinho on trial during the July 2013 tour to Asia and joined Chelsea in January 2014.

He has spent 18 months on loan at Vitesse Arnhem before Chelsea earned a work permit this summer.

Another Chelsea youngster moved to Holland on Thursday, with Todd Kane joining NEC Nijmegen on a season-long loan.

"Todd Kane has today joined Dutch side NEC Nijmegen on loan for the 2015/16 season," a Chelsea statement read.

"The 21-year-old, who signed a new contract with Chelsea earlier this week, joined us as an Under-eight and will continue his development in the Eredivisie."

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