Jose Mourinho has named Ramires and Kurt Zouma among his four options to replace the injured Branislav Ivanovic at right-back for Chelsea.
Ivanovic and Thibaut Courtois are Chelsea’s only injury absentees heading into Saturday’s clash with Aston Villa, according to manager Mourinho.
The injury sustained on international duty by Serbian Ivanovic leaves Chelsea with four possible options to replace him, of which one is midfielder Ramires and another is centre-half Zouma.
“There are four solutions – Cesar Azpilicueta, Kurt Zouma, Ramires or an 18-year-old, Ola Aina,” Mourinho said. “It depends on the matches and the opponents.”
Further up the pitch, midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been tipped as a potential starter for Chelsea against Villa this weekend, and Mourinho confirmed the 19-year-old was “ready”.
“Ruben has been working with us every day since January and has evolved physically, tactically, mentally. We can start him. He is ready,” the Portuguese said.
Chelsea sit 16th in the Premier League table after a nightmare start to the season – no club has finished higher than fifth after gaining just eight points from their opening eight games – but Mourinho insists he and his players and trying to find the solution.
“Every game is a must win game and when we don’t win it’s always a frustration,” he said. “But we cannot run away from the reality of the situation.
“We need to win matches for us, for the Chelsea supporters. I don’t know how to stop unfair stories but we are not worried. We are not going to be relegated – in a couple of months we will be in a position we want to be in.
Mourinho also discussed his £50,000 fine and suspended one-match stadium ban handed to him by the FA after comments made following the club’s 3-1 defeat to Southampton last time out. On the charges, Mourinho said: “I have to be honest with myself. It’s the most important thing so I have to appeal.
“The moment we got the written reasons and I decided to appeal is the moment to stop with my opinions and not to add anything more than I did already.
“Maybe I am naive but English football fans, English passion for the game, is what makes me like this country so much. It’s not the FA. If one day I have to work for those people, I will…”