Friday, September 29, 2023

Chelsea’s stunning injured XI features over £370million worth of talent as crisis deepens with Moises Caicedo blow

Big-spending Chelsea have incredible squad depth… or they would have, if half of their squad wasn’t out injured.

The Blues might be suffering at the moment, drawing 0-0 with Bournemouth on Sunday, but Mauricio Pochettino is hoping the fact they can form a top class starting XI from their currently unavailable players gives them hope good times are on the horizon.

Things have not gone to plan for Pochettino at Chelsea thus farGetty Images

It was another bad day at the office for Chelsea as they stuttered to a goalless draw against winless BournemouthGetty Images

The Blues boss complained ahead of his side’s trip to the Vitality Stadium that he is not able to fill a matchday squad list due to the number of injuries plaguing his squad, despite a staggering £1billion transfer spend.

Although he did eventually managed to name a full nine-man bench for Sunday’s Premier League clash on the south coast, few supporters would have recognised most of the names on it.

Such is the severity of the west Londoners’ injury woes that Ben Chilwell and summer signings Cole Palmer and Alex Matos were the only senior players available as subs.

The rest of the bench was made up by 21-year-old and 23-year-old goalkeepers Lucas Bergstrom and Djordje Petrovic, 21-year-old Dutch defender Ian Maatsen, 19-year-old centre-back Alfie Gilchrist, 18-year-old Brazilian Deivid Washington and 18-year-old striker Ronnie Stutter.

Pochettino might consider himself one of the most unlucky coaches in the top flight with the amount of talent he’s unable to call upon, which he revealed before the match now includes British-record signing Moises Caicedo.

Chelsea’s injury list boasts some of the club’s best talent, including Caicedo, captain Reece James, new forward Christopher Nkunku and fellow summer signing Romeo Lavia.

In fact, an XI made up of Chelsea‘s sidelined stars features over £370million worth of talent.

So, as grim as things are at Stamford Bridge at the moment, there is at least some hope  – however small – that good times are just around the corner.

Chelsea injured XItalkSPORT

That’s the story Pochettino is sticking to, insisting after another poor performance against Bournemouth that Chelsea will be better once their key stars are back in action.

Asked if he’s ever had an injury crisis like this in his career as a manager, Pochettino told talkSPORT: “To be honest, no. 

“We have too many important players out, it’s not that I want to make an excuse but they could help the team. It’s difficult to support all these injuries in a club where the expectations are so massive.

“It’s a situation where we need to be positive. Caicedo came back from international duty with a knock and Cucurella has a fever, some players you can count on to help the team to achieve what we want, and we use a few younger players through the academy.

“But the expectation at Chelsea is to win and we need all our players fit to help the team to compete for a place and make a stronger performance.

“It’s an obvious situation and we need to wait and work hard to recover the players and to have a strong squad.

“I’m sure that with time when we recover all the players and the squad is going to be complete, I think the quality is there.”

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