Virgil van Dijk sends surprise message to Ben Chilwell as Thomas Tuchel plots Chelsea rebuild

Virgil van Dijk sends surprise message to Ben Chilwell as Thomas Tuchel plots Chelsea rebuild

Virgil van Dijk has sent Ben Chilwell a message of support following the Chelsea left-back’s return from injury. The Liverpool defender offered his support on Instagram by commenting a clapping emoji under the 25-year-old’s Instagram post.

The defender was dealt the blow back in November during the second half of an impressive Champions League win over Juventus. He was subsequently expected to miss the rest of the season, handing Thomas Tuchel’s side a major setback in the Premier League title race and bid to retain Chelsea’s European crown.

Chilwell featured 12 times for the Blues prior to his absence, directly contributing toward four goals. The England international was central to much of the west London side’s success in the early stages of the season and Tuchel has been left to greatly rue the defender’s injury.

The Blues boss has confirmed that Chilwell will play no part in Chelsea’s next fixture which sees the west Londoners welcome Leicester City to Stamford Bridge. Speaking to football.london, Tuchel said: “Ben Chilwell was back in training which was very good news yesterday and an uplift for everybody. Well deserved and so nice to see him back in training but of course he is not available for the match.”

Upon Chilwell’s return to first-team training on Tuesday, he was welcomed by a rapturous reception from his manager and teammates. Tuchel gave the 25-year-old a warm embrace while the rest of his teammates applauded his return.

Prior to his return to first-team training, Chilwell had been working with the development squad and under-18s. And, Goal claims that there is a hope among the Chelsea entourage that he will be ready for pre-season, with the west Londoners off to the United States.

The Blues will return to the US this summer to play pre-season fixtures against Club America and Charlotte FC as part of the FC Series. The fixtures are confirmed as part of the ‘Clash of Nations’ tour, which sees a week-long tournament end with a derby against the Gunners in Florida, with the sides hoping to lift the Florida Cup.

Chelsea previously announced their intention to play two more matches in the build-up to the clash with Arsenal. They are now set to be against Mexico City’s Liga MX side, Club America, which will take place in Las Vegas, and the MLS team Charlotte FC at their North Carolina base.

The Blues are also set to spend one week in Los Angeles to complete a training camp at the beginning of their trip. That could be particularly pertinent, providing the takeover led by Todd Boehly is completed, with the US businessman owning a baseball team, the LA Dodgers. However, Chelsea did suggest in their previous announcement that the club will only join, providing new ownership is confirmed.

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