Despite all that has gone well for Chelsea this season, one thing has worked against them: the club's doctors have taken their paychecks in recent months, and nearly the entire first team has visited the treatment table at least once since August. Christian Pulisic, Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Reece James, Mason Mount, Hakim Ziyech, Mateo Kovacic. The list goes on.
Now the Blues must add two more names to their catalog of walking wounded. Ben Chilwell and N Golo Kante, with Kante and Chilwell on crutches, were injured in the week's Champions League win against Juventus. Kant's sprained knee was marred by an injury to Chilwell's anterior cruciate ligament.
The couple will almost certainly miss Sunday's Premier League game against Manchester United. He faces the prospect of being out, at least until the New Year, and perhaps later if the defender has to undergo an operation on his VKB. There is never an ideal time to lose two important team members, but this particular moment is extremely unfortunate. Aside from the upcoming clash against United, Thomas Tuchel already has Mateo Kovacic with a thigh injury, Havertz is recovering from a hamstring strain, while Romelu Lukaku has just returned from a sprained ankle.
On the positive side, Mason Mount, Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic have returned from their injuries. However, this cannot hide the fact that Tuchel will be missing his most important left-back and midfielder in the near future. A print statement that needs to be corrected.
Salvation for Saul?
Marcos Alonso, César Azpilicueta, Callum Hudson, Odoi and Pulisic should take back their left position with other alternatives. Rubén LoftusCheek has proven to be a talented newcomer. It's a case Ross Barkley can cling to. However, there is a player for the blues who can tick both boxes. Stepping forward, Saúl Niguez is a man who needs every opportunity he gets. The Spaniard was of course a central midfielder and was used as a winger during his time at Atlético de Madrid.
The second position would of course be less desirable. In the current 26-year situation, Saul has about seven months to convince Chelsea to sign from Atletico permanently. After nine disappointing matches, including six as a reserve, his future at Stamford Bridge currently looks rather bleak. He can win a race on the wing to replace Chilwell or Kante. A wild option yes, but Tuchel can take a risk.
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