Benitez bemoans lack of depth with £80m of Chelsea talent on loan

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Interim manager Rafa Benitez has been moaning about the lack of depth in his flagging Chelsea squad, despite having over £80million of talent currently out on loan, reports The Sun.

The Spaniard - who arrived at Stamford Bridge on a short-term basis until the end of the season, after Roberto Di Matteo was sacked in November - has blamed recent results on a busy fixture list, saying that many of his first-team squad are struggling to cope with the demands of the congested schedule.

But, in spite of their increasing lack of recovery time between games, Benitez has refused to ease the burden on his fatigued Chelsea stars by recalling any of the 23 players that are currently away on loan.

"It is difficult for us because we play a game every three days," said the 52-year-old. "I don't know if we will get anyone in the transfer window. We've had conversations and now it depends on the club.

"We cannot bring back some of the players who are out on loan because we have an agreement that they will carry on for the rest of the season."

Michael Essien, Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois and Kevin De Bruyne are four full international stars that are owned by Chelsea, but plying their trades away from west London, with Belgian striker Lukaku playing for a rival Premier League club.

"The squad would be fine if we had everyone available," Benitez added. "Hopefully the injured players will come back and the African Nations Cup will give us our players back sooner rather than later.

"Then we'll have to manage the squad to deal with this congestion."

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