Chelsea have left for their pre-season tour to China after excluding three notable names from their squad. The likes of Diego Costa, Kurt Zouma and Nemanja Matic were all left at home amid speculations of the trio leaving the club this summer.
But the news does not come as a shock for many fans as there had been suggestions that the trio would be moving elsewhere over the course of the summer. The Blues have left without them and will play against Arsenal on Saturday to begin their pre-season tour.
Kurt Zouma is already spotted in Stoke City’s training ground as the Frenchman’s deal is close to completion. He was one of the best young players in Chelsea’s academy and made a breakthrough couple of season back. However, a horrific injury during the end of 2015/16 season meant he had fallen down the pecking order under Conte.
Nemanja Matic, who is being linked with a move to Manchester United, is also missing as he will be on the bench at Stamford Bridge after the signing of Tiemoue Bakayoko from AS Monaco.
On the other hand, Diego Costa is the most obvious name to miss out from the tour. The Spaniard was said to be not part of next season’s plan and the rift between the duo has caused a lot of concern within the club over the past one month.
Now that Chelsea have acquired the signing of Alvaro Morata in a record deal, the need for the Spanish striker is minimal and he could be off to Atletico Madrid in the next few days.
New signing Antonio Rudiger will join the squad in Singapore next week while star player Eden Hazard misses out on the pre-season. The Belgian international will receive more treatment on his ankle injury back at the club and is keen to be ready by September at the earliest.
Apart from the notable absentees, there are also quite few forgotten names in the squad that was named. Premier League striker Loic Remy was one of them, who travelled with the squad along with few other Chelsea stars to China along with many unknown youth players who often play in Eredivise or for Championship sides in England.