Tuchel handed huge blow as two Chelsea stars set to miss a month of action

Edouard Mendy has already helped Senegal qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2022, and he is set to be joined by Hakim Ziyech as Morocco are on the brink

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has already been rocked by the news that he will be without Edouard Mendy for one month next season.

It’s a little different for the current international break as the goalkeeper is skipping duty with Senegal to have an operation on his tooth.

“Edou Mendy will stay because he has an operation on his tooth,” Tuchel confirmed following his side’s 2-0 win over Sheffield United last weekend. “He needs to see the dentist because it needs to be done. It’s why we do it now.”

However, the Chelsea boss won’t be afforded the same luxury next season.

In early 2022 the Africa Cup of Nations takes place and after Senegal sealed their passage to the finals in November, defeating Guinea Bissau 1-0 it means Tuchel has already lost Mendy.

The competition, which was last won by Algeria, was due to be staged at the beginning of the year, however, it was forced to be pushed back a year due to the coronavirus crisis.

As a result, the tournament in Cameroon will be staged over most of January and into February in 2022, with the dates still to be confirmed.

The timing of the tournament, as expected, has been met by groans by a cluster of Premier League managers, with some of their key players poised to miss a large portion of the season.

In a further blow, Hakim Ziyech is poised to join Mendy in travelling to Cameroon for the tournament as Morocco are on the brink of securing their route to the finals

Ziyech scored the opening goal in a 2-0 win over Central African Republic last November and claimed an assist for Youssef En-Nesyri’s late strike.

Morocco have not secured their spot at AFCON 2022 just yet, but it would take a major swing in results in the final matches remaining in Group E for them to miss out.

The Atlas Lions lead their group with 10 points, six points ahead of and with a +11 goal difference on third-placed Burundi with two games remaining.

It is the top two teams that qualify for the tournament and Morocco could book their ticket against Mauritiana on Friday evening.