Ben Chilwell’s injury and Striker Nicolas Jackson’s suspension leaves Chelsea short of options
Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed Ben Chilwell be missing a number of matches going forward including Monday’s clash against Fulham due to a concerning hamstring injury suffered versus Brighton & Hove Albion.
Ben Chilwell retired with a hamstring injury late on, in the Blues’ 1-0 League Cup win over Brighton & Hove Albion this Wednesday and the Chelsea boss admitted that the early signs do not look good according to
“I think it’s bad news. From what the doctor told me it’s not a good thing, but we need to assess in the next few days and we’ll see the period that he’s going to be absent from the squad and the team. I think it is the same leg as he injured last season. He was fresh and only played 20 minutes against Aston Villa. We are very disappointed because the news is not good and now we are going to miss another player for a certain amount of time.”.
Benjamin Chilwell to be out for an unspecified amount of time. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)
Chelsea are currently hit with injuries left and right. Ben Chilwell‘s fitness issue will certainly be one of the most impactful ones. Pochettino also noted it’s the same hamstring Chilwell injured last season. Losing him long-term would be a huge setback with the skipper Reece James also sidelined.
‘”Any team missing important players, it will affect their performance. There is only one Reece James and one Ben Chilwell. We have Malo, Marc [Cucurella] and Levi [Colwill] who can come in and play really well, but they have a different profile. That is football. It is difficult to replace top players.”
On a positive note, Pochettino is hopeful Carney Chukwuemeka and Noni Madueke can return from injury against Fulham. But replacing Chilwell poses a challenge with left-back options already thin and he has been our stand-in captain in Reece James’ absence, leaving the team without another leader on the pitch.
Up front, suspended striker Nicolas Jackson is out and Armando Broja has just returned from an eight-month long injury. Hence putting the pressure to deliver on the fresh out of injury Broja might yield negative results.
Losing Chilwell compounds Pochettino’s headaches at both fullback spots. However, James is currently inching closer to a full return and is slated to start after the international break in October. So Pochettino might rest a bit easy.
However, currently, creativity will be required to patch together a depleted defence minus two world-class starters. But right now, it seems the Argentine is fine with fielding a team where Mykhaylo Mudryk starts as a left-winger while Levi Colwill plays as a left-back to provide defensive balance.
Further injuries, however, could derail Chelsea’s season given their lack of a strong attack. Pochettino has held things together so far but must continue finding solutions if long-term absences pile up.