Ever since he was bequeathed the no.17 shirt worn in recent seasons by Eden Hazard and Pedro a few weeks ago, we’ve been waiting for young Charly Musonda Jr to make his pre-season debut. But just like for much of last season (both on loan at Real Betis and then back with Chelsea), Musonda has been slowed by a muscle injury so far this summer.
“It was frustrating for me to come out here [on tour] and not be able to participate in the first training sessions. But after that, I did really well with my rehab. I was really fit today.”
We had to wait all the way until the final pre-season match at the end of the third week of preparations for him to finally make an appearance.
Unsurprisingly, all he did in his 25 minutes is inject some much needed verve, pace and endeavor into the proceedings as Chelsea tried to rescue yet another multi-goal deficit this week. Chelsea may have ultimately fallen short of that goal (thanks in no small part to terrible calls by the referee and the linesman), but Musonda certainly impressed the impression-hungry fans.
“I enjoyed it. I was a bit frustrated to get injured for the first game of the pre-season, and I felt delighted to come on for my first game today.”
“I was a unlucky a few times. It was a good game. I felt pretty fast, felt pretty good. Really exciting stuff. I’m feeling great. I did a lot of running this week. The manager put me on a good fitness regime. Felt really good today.”
“[The manager told me] just to enjoy it, to be lively and to try to create chances for the team. I think I did well.”
Musonda has been working hard to recover from his injury while also working on his fitness, hopefully impressing Conte enough to get into the first-team for this season. With Hazard injured for at least another 6-7 weeks, Musonda should have plenty of opportunities to impress not just in training but on the pitch as well.
“Disappointing result today, but we’ve got a big game next week against Arsenal, so that’s the main target now, to win the Community Shield. And then hopefully we’ll be in good position to start the season in the Premier League.”
-Charly Musonda; source: ChelseaTV